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Breast. 2004 Apr;13(2):115-21.

Differentiation of benign and malignant sub-1 cm breast lesions using dynamic contrast enhanced MRI.

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  • 1Centre for MR Investigations, Division of Cancer, Postgraduate Medical Institute, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, UK.


The purpose of this work is to assess the additional benefit of MRI-based morphology and quantification of contrast enhancement in the differential diagnosis of sub-1cm breast lesions. Forty-three women with suspected breast cancer were examined using X-ray mammography, ultrasound mammography, and MRI. Dynamic contrast imaging was performed and relative enhancement at various time-points was calculated. The dynamic data was also processed using a two-compartment pharmacokinetic model. Radiological interpretation of high-resolution post-contrast images revealed a similar accuracy (69%) compared to X-ray mammography (69%) and ultrasound mammography (67%). The best individual parameter calculated from the dynamic images was found to be the exchange rate constant which revealed a diagnostic accuracy of 0.74 +/- 0.08. When information from the post-contrast images and dynamic data was combined in a logistic regression model a diagnostic accuracy of 0.92 +/- 0.03 was achieved. In conclusion, MR imaging of small breast lesions is feasible and the incorporation of quantitative MR derived parameters is beneficial.

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