Preop MRI Recommended for All New Breast Cancer Patients

May 4, 2012

Preoperative MRIs should be done on all newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, regardless of breast density.

Preoperative MRIs should be done on all newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, regardless of breast density, say researchers from Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven. The results of their study were presented at the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.

Preop MRIs are ordered more often for young women or those who have dense breasts, said Reena Vashi, MD, one of the study authors. However, researchers studied 127 patients to determine if 3T MRI could be of use preoperatively in detecting additional malignancies - regardless of age or breast tissue density.

The researchers found that preop MRIs detected additional malignancies in 26 percent of patients whose breasts were not considered dense and in 25 percent of patients with dense breast tissue. There were no differences between the groups regarding the sizes or distribution of the lesions.

In addition, there were several patients who had unsuspected additional cancers in the opposite breast or in a separate quadrant from the known cancer in the affected breast, the researchers discovered.