Breast MRI helps guide surgical treatment

By staff writers

May 22, 2007 -- Breast MRI can help guide surgical treatment in women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer, finding additional tumors and altering treatment in 23% of cases, according to a new study.

Researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago used breast MRI between April 2005 and April 2006 to examine 155 women with breast cancer newly diagnosed by mammogram, ultrasound, and needle biopsy. The study appeared in Archives of Surgery (May 2007, Vol. 142:5, pp. 441-447).

The women received MRI scans of both breasts after the surgical plan was developed but before the actual surgery took place. If the MRI scan detected new cancers found to be malignant, the surgical plan was re-evaluated.

Of the 155 women, breast MRI detected a total of 124 additional suspicious lesions in 73 patients, and altered the surgical plans of 36 (23.2%) of patients. Ten patients had a mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy, 21 women had lumpectomies that removed more tissue than originally planned, and five women had surgery on both breasts.

After the surgery, the researchers compared the actual appearance of the cancer to the original mammogram or ultrasound, as well as to the MRI, and considered the change in surgical management to be beneficial if pathological findings matched the MRI more closely than they matched mammography or ultrasound.

Of the 36 women who had a change in surgical management based on MRI, 15 were found to have beneficial changes when MRI confirmed the pathological report. The change was judged beneficial in eight women whose lumpectomy was converted to mastectomy, 10 patients who received a larger lumpectomy, and two patients who had surgery on both breasts.

By staff writers
May 22, 2007

MRI becoming more efficient in breast cancer detection, May 18, 2007

MRI useful for detecting cancer in contralateral breast, March 28, 2007

Spiral MRI technique picks up what mammo misses in DCIS, March 15, 2007

Breast pathology lacks standardization, particularly in DCIS, March 13, 2007

Breast MR shows exceptional sensitivity for spotting DCIS, January 12, 2007

Copyright © 2007


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