RSNA: MRI May Improve Breast Cancer Detection Rate

Study demonstrates utility of MRI after three years of mammography and ultrasound
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In women at high risk of breast cancer, adding magnetic resonance imaging after three years of screening with mammography and ultrasound increases the cancer detection rate, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4 in Chicago. In other news, for women aged 30 to 39 years with focal signs or symptoms, adding mammography to ultrasound may not significantly increase the cancer detection rate.

In one study, Wendie Berg, M.D., a radiologist in private practice in Luthersville, Md., and colleagues studied 627 high-risk women who underwent magnetic resonance imaging within 91 days of their last mammography and ultrasound test. They found that magnetic resonance imaging after mammography and ultrasound was associated with a supplemental yield of 15.1 breast cancer cases per 1,000 women.

In a second study, Michael Portillo, M.D., a radiologist in private practice in Tampa, Fla., and colleagues studied 1,327 cases in 1,032 women aged 30 to 39 years with focal signs or symptoms, 1,207 (91 percent) of which were evaluated by ultrasound and mammography. They found that ultrasound had a higher sensitivity than mammography at the area of clinical concern (100 versus 64 percent), and found that mammography only detected one additional malignancy.

"Further investigation is warranted to support continued use of mammography in this patient population," Portillo and colleagues conclude.

Two authors of the first study reported relationships with General Electric Company and Siemens AG/Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV; two authors of the second study reported relationships with Johnson & Johnson and/or General Electric Company.

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