Breast MR builds its role among high-risk patients

January 7, 2005

New data reported at the RSNA meeting are refueling the drive for further utilization of MR imaging in the triage and characterization of breast cancer in women at high risk for disease.

New data reported at the RSNA meeting are refueling the drive for further utilization of MR imaging in the triage and characterization of breast cancer in women at high risk for disease.

The International Breast MRI Consortium (IBMC) trial, which compared MR and screening mammography in women at genetically high risk for breast cancer, found that MR screening can detect breast cancers missed by clinical examination and x-ray mammography, according to Dr. Constance D. Lehman and colleagues at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Also participating in the IBMC trial, Dr. Mitchell D. Schnall and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania found an unusually low sensitivity for MR (88.1%) but a relatively high specificity (67.4%). MR could predict diagnosis in patients with suspicious lesions identified before biopsy.

Dr. Sina Meisamy and colleagues at the University of Minnesota found that adding quantitative hydrogen-1 MR spectroscopy to assess choline-containing compounds bolstered four independent radiologists' ability to characterize tumors. All four readers improved their sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy.