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Cancer. 2009 Apr 1;115(7):1363-80. doi: 10.1002/cncr.24156.

Significance of breast lesion descriptors in the ACR BI-RADS MRI lexicon.

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  • 1Tu and Yuen Center for Functional Onco-Imaging, University of California, Irvine, California 92697, USA.


In recent years, dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) has altered the clinical management for women with breast cancer. In March 2007, the American Cancer Society (ACS) issued a new guideline recommending annual MRI screening for high-risk women. This guideline is expected to substantially increase the number of women each year who receive breast MRI. The diagnosis of breast MRI involves the description of morphological and enhancement kinetics features. To standardize the communication language, the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) MRI lexicon was developed by the American College of Radiology (ACR). In this article, the authors will review various appearances of breast lesions on MRI by using the standardized terms of the ACR BI-RADS MRI lexicon. The purpose is to familiarize all medical professionals with the breast MRI lexicon because the use of this imaging modality is rapidly growing in the field of breast disease. By using this common language, a comprehensive analysis of both morphological and kinetic features used in image interpretation will help radiologists and other clinicians to communicate more clearly and consistently. This may, in turn, help physicians and patients to jointly select an appropriate management protocol for each patient's clinical situation.

(c) 2009 American Cancer Society

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