MRI With Mammography Useful for High-Risk Women

When used with mammography, MRI detects more cancer among women who had chest irradiation

TUESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- When used together with mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a useful screening tool for high-risk women who have undergone chest irradiation, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Radiology.

Janice S. Sung, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of their institution's radiology database, identifying 247 screening breast MRI examinations performed between January 1999 and December 2008 of 91 women with a history of chest irradiation. The researchers reviewed the findings and recommendations for each MRI and the most recent mammogram.

The researchers found that, for 32 suspicious lesions shown on 27 MRIs of 21 women, biopsy was recommended; of the 30 lesions biopsied, malignancy was found in seven. Five other patients were recommended for biopsy on the basis of mammogram findings, of which cancer was found in three. Of the 10 cancers found during the study period, four were detected by MRI alone, three by mammogram alone, and three by MRI and mammogram together. The four MRI-detected malignancies were invasive carcinomas; whereas two of the mammogram-detected cancers were ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The other was DCIS with microinvasion.

"In our study, MR imaging was a useful adjunct modality to screen high-risk women with a history of chest radiation, resulting in a 4.4 percent incremental cancer detection rate," the authors write.

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