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Radiographics. 2006 Nov-Dec;26(6):1719-34; quiz 1719.

Patterns of enhancement on breast MR images: interpretation and imaging pitfalls.

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Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, 600 N Wolfe St, BLA-B 179 RAD, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


The role of dynamic contrast material-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the breast as an adjunct to the conventional techniques of mammography and ultrasonography has been established in numerous research studies. MR imaging improves the detection and characterization of primary and recurrent breast cancers and allows evaluation of the response to therapy. The breast imaging lexicon published by the American College of Radiology allows a standardized and consistent description of the morphologic and kinetic characteristics of breast lesions; however, there are many challenges in the interpretation of breast enhancement patterns and kinetics, and many imaging and interpretation pitfalls must be considered. New breast MR imaging techniques that are based on the use of molecular markers of malignancy may help improve lesion characterization. The margin characteristics of a lesion and the intensity of its enhancement at MR imaging 2 minutes or less after contrast material injection are currently considered the most important features for breast lesion diagnosis.

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