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Invest Radiol. 2011 Feb;46(2):94-105. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0b013e3181f3fcdf.

Multicenter surveillance of women at high genetic breast cancer risk using mammography, ultrasonography, and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (the high breast cancer risk italian 1 study): final results.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Medico-Chirurgiche, Università degli Studi di Milano, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, Unità di Radiologia, San Donato Milanese, Milano, Italy.



: To prospectively compare clinical breast examination, mammography, ultrasonography, and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a multicenter surveillance of high-risk women.


: We enrolled asymptomatic women aged ≥ 25: BRCA mutation carriers; first-degree relatives of BRCA mutation carriers, and women with strong family history of breast/ovarian cancer, including those with previous personal breast cancer.


: A total of 18 centers enrolled 501 women and performed 1592 rounds (3.2 rounds/woman). Forty-nine screen-detected and 3 interval cancers were diagnosed: 44 invasive, 8 ductal carcinoma in situ; only 4 pT2 stage; 32 G3 grade. Of 39 patients explored for nodal status, 28 (72%) were negative. Incidence per year-woman resulted 3.3% overall, 2.1% <50, and 5.4% ≥ 50 years (P < 0.001), 4.3% in women with previous personal breast cancer and 2.5% in those without (P = 0.045). MRI was more sensitive (91%) than clinical breast examination (18%), mammography (50%), ultrasonography (52%), or mammography plus ultrasonography (63%) (P < 0.001). Specificity ranged 96% to 99%, positive predictive value 53% to 71%, positive likelihood ratio 24 to 52 (P not significant). MRI showed significantly better negative predictive value (99.6) and negative likelihood ratio (0.09) than those of the other modalities. At receiver operating characteristic analysis, the area under the curve of MRI (0.97) was significantly higher than that of mammography (0.83) or ultrasonography (0.82) and not significantly increased when MRI was combined with mammography and/or ultrasonography. Of 52 cancers, 16 (31%) were diagnosed only by MRI, 8 of 21 (38%) in women <50, and 8 of 31 (26%) in women ≥ 50 years of age.


: MRI largely outperformed mammography, ultrasonography, and their combination for screening high-risk women below and over 50.

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