The Value of Quality-Assured Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Breast for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer in Asymptomatic Women.

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the exclusive performance of quality-assured high-resolution breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for early detection of breast cancer in a population of asymptomatic women.


A total of 1189 MRI examinations performed in 789 asymptomatic women (mean age, 51.1 years) were evaluated. All examinations were performed using open bilateral surface coil, dedicated compression device, and high spatial resolution (matrix, 512 × 512). Digital mammography was available for all participants. Assessment included density types, artifact level, and Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System classification. Evaluation was performed by 2 readers. In addition, a computer-assisted diagnosis (CAD) system was used for image assessment.


Breast MRI showed density types I and II in 87.6% and artifacts categories III and IV in 3.1%. Study included 32 carcinomas (8 ductal carcinoma in situ, 24 invasive tumors). Both readers detected 29 of 32 correctly (sensitivity 90.6%). The variation between the readers was low (reader 1: specificity, 94.4% and positive predictive value (PPV), 25.7%; reader 2: specificity, 97.6% and PPV, 34.1%). Sensitivity of CAD was 62.5% (specificity, 84.4%; PPV, 5.2%). Digital mammography detected 13 of 32 carcinomas (sensitivity, 56.3%; specificity, 98.4%; PPV, 32.1%).


The exclusive use of quality-assured breast MRI allows the early detection of breast cancer with a high sensitivity and specificity. The CAD analysis of MRI does not give additional information but shows results comparable with digital mammography.

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