Preoperative breast MRI suggests high cancer yield

January 12, 2011, American College of Radiology

The use of preoperative Breast MRI detects otherwise occult cancer with a relatively high degree of accuracy when applied to a diverse population of patients newly diagnosed with breast cancer, according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

The study was performed at the University of Washington and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle, WA.

The review initiated with 592 patients who were recently diagnosed with and underwent staging with preoperative breast MRI. The analysis set was comprised of 570 patients, whose rates, positive predictive values (PPVs) of biopsy, and overall cancer yields were calculated and compared using the chi-square test across patient age, , index tumor type, receptor status and lymph node status.

"Our data add to the growing body of literature that documents breast MRI's ability to detect otherwise occult additional disease in patients who have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer," said Robert Gutierrez, MD, lead author of the study.

"We found that use of preoperative breast MRI in newly diagnosed cancer patients resulted in an added cancer yield of 12%.This is much higher than the added cancer yield of .08 to 6.7% seen with high risk screening breast MRI, a more widely accepted indication for breast MRI, " said Gutierrez.

"A major strength of our study is our sample size of 570 patients, which is larger than most prior investigations. Additionally, unlike the majority of preoperative breast MRI studies, our patient population is more representative of a broad diagnostic population, which is a result of the practice pattern at our site of routinely performing preoperative in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, "he said.

This study appears in the January 2011 issue of the .

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