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Q. Do you feel that the enhancement of a rib on MRI is due to metastasis?

Answered by
Dr. Vivek Chail
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 13, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi,

I had a routine MRI for the history of treated breast cancer, and that showed enhancement on a rib. What would cause this? I had rib pain following a bad cough and cold.

Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiodiagnosis Radiology
#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Yes, it is possible that you might have mild fractures of ribs due to excessive coughing.
  • Can you please upload the images. I will look at the pictures and then give a detailed opinion.

Revert with the images to a radiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/radiologist


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Hi doctor,

I have attached the images.

Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiodiagnosis Radiology
#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • I saw through the scans (attachment removed to protect patient identity), and if the pain is exactly at that location and started right after a cough, then there is a likelihood of minor fracture or bone swelling due to a minimal stress fracture of the ribs.
  • There is a rare possibility that the area is a focus of metastasis and developed a pathological stress with mild coughing.
  • Keeping in mind your past medical history, it is essential that metastasis is ruled out and that is mentioned in your report. The fact is that this MRI finding cannot just be ignored if there is a personal history of breast cancer.

For further information consult a radiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/radiologist


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Hi doctor,

I am having a bone scan tomorrow. Does anything give you the feeling that it is metastasis or just something from the cough? It was described as a linear enhancement. Does that mean anything serious?

Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiodiagnosis Radiology
#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Judging by the area of involvement, it is a small part of the ribs and the linear pattern. The possibility of a cough associated stress fracture is higher than a metastasis.
  • But, nothing can be taken for granted unless completely investigated and probably the bone scan will give more comprehensive information.
  • I feel the chance of a fracture due to coughing is more likely.

For further information consult a radiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/radiologist


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