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Eur Radiol. 2010 May;20(5):1101-10. doi: 10.1007/s00330-009-1654-5. Epub 2009 Nov 20.

Sensitivity and specificity of unenhanced MR mammography (DWI combined with T2-weighted TSE imaging, ueMRM) for the differentiation of mass lesions.

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Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Erlanger Allee 101, 07740, Jena, Germany.



This study was performed to assess the sensitivity and specificity for malignant and benign mass lesions of a diagnostic approach combining DWI with T2-weighted images (unenhanced MR mammography, ueMRM) and compare the results with contrast-enhanced MR mammography (ceMRM).


Consecutive patients undergoing histopathological verification of mass lesions after MR mammography without prior breast interventions (contrast-enhanced T1-weighted, T2-weighted and DWI sequences) were eligible for this retrospective investigation. Two blinded observers first rated ueMRM and then ceMRM according to the BIRADS scale. Lesion size, ADC values and T2-weighted TSE descriptors were assessed.


This study examined 81 lesions (27 benign, 54 malignant). Sensitivity of ueMRM was 93% (observer 1) and 86% (observer 2), respectively. Sensitivity of ceMRM was 96.5% (observer 1) and 98.3% (observer 2). Specificity was 85.2% (ueMRM) and 92.6% (ceMRM) for both observers. The differences between both methods and observers were not significant (P > or = 0.09). Lesion size measurements did not differ significantly among all sequences analyzed. Tumor visibility was worse using ueMRM for both benign (P < 0.001) and malignant lesions (P = 0.004).


Sensitivity and specificity of ueMRM in mass lesions equal that of ceMRM. However, a reduced lesion visibility in ueMRM may lead to more false-negative findings.

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