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Magnetic resonance imaging in breast cancer

M Van Goethem 1 W Tjalma  K Schelfout  I Verslegers  I Biltjes  P Parizel  
  • PMID: 16920327
  •     19 citations


Aim: Due to its high sensitivity, magnetic resonance (MR) mammography is increasingly used as adjunct to mammography and ultrasound. The technique, however, has a relatively limited specificity. Therefore, it may only be used for specific indications. One of the indications is preoperative staging of breast carcinoma. This review serves to give an overview of the studies published on the role of MR in preoperative local staging.

Methods: We reviewed studies of the role of MR mammography in the detection of breast carcinomas and in the assessment of the diameter and extent of carcinomas. We also reviewed published studies on detection of multifocal and multicentric carcinomas that were occult on mammography and ultrasound. Advantages and drawbacks of preoperative MR mammography and the effect on treatment, as reported in different published studies, are described. The review is based on a search of PubMed, using specific terms for the different topics.

Results: MR has the highest sensitivity to detect invasive carcinomas and is best in assessment of tumor extent, including detection of multifocal, multicentric and bilateral disease.

Conclusion: MR mammography is a valuable adjunct to conventional imaging in the preoperative local staging of breast cancer.

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