Magnetic resonance imaging in the preoperative setting for breast cancer patients with undetected additional disease

Israel Barco, Carolina Chabrera, Antonio García-Fernández, Manel Fraile, MCarmen C. Vidal, Sonia González, Jose María Lain, Assumpta Reñé, Lidia Canales, Elena Vallejo, Jordi Deu, Antoni Pessarrodona, Nuria Giménez, Marc García-Font

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8 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd Objective The last few years have witnessed a significant increase in the preoperative use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for staging purposes in breast cancer (BC) patients. Many studies have confirmed the improvement that MRI can provide in terms of diagnostic assessment, especially with regard to additional disease foci. In the present study, we address the advantages and disadvantages of MRI in the preoperative setting for BC patients. Patients and methods There were 1513 consecutive breast MRI studies performed in patients with either primary or recurrent BC, who were scheduled for surgery. Results Beyond the primary lesion, 10.4% of our cases had additional disease at the final histological assessment. MRI overall sensitivity, when considering tumour size and additional foci together, was 74.3%, and 80.3% when considering additional foci exclusively. MRI specificity for additional disease was 95.3%, positive predictive value was 77.4%, and negative predictive value was 94.6%. Nevertheless, 5% of cases had additional tumours that were missed by MRI or, conversely, had additional foci on MRI that were not confirmed by histology. Age (p = 0.020) and lobular carcinomas (p = 0.030) showed significance in the multivariate analysis by logistic regression, using the presence of additional foci diagnosed by MRI as a dependent variable. Conclusion Preoperative MRI seems to have a role in preoperative tumour staging for breast cancer patients, as it discloses additional disease foci in some patients, including contralateral involvement. However, given the lack of absolute accuracy, core-needle biopsy cannot be neglected in the diagnosis of such additional malignant foci, which could result in a change in surgical treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1786-1793
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Additional foci
  • Breast cancer
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Sensitivity and specificity


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