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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2012 Mar;198(3):W285-91. doi: 10.2214/AJR.10.5581.

Analysis by MRI of residual tumor after radiofrequency ablation for early stage breast cancer.

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Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Rua NapoleĆ£o de Barros, 800, Vila Clementino, Sao Paulo 04024-000, Brazil.



The objective of our study was to evaluate the effectiveness of MRI in the detection of possible residual lesions after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in the treatment of breast cancer.


We prospectively evaluated 14 patients who had undergone ultrasound-guided core biopsies diagnostic of invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC; range of diameters, 1.0-3.0 cm) and then ultrasound-guided percutaneous RFA with sentinel node biopsy as the primary treatment. Breast MRI was performed 1 week before RFA to evaluate tumor extension and again 3 weeks after RFA to verify the presence of possible residual lesions. Conventional surgical resection of the tumors was performed 1 week after RFA. The MRI findings were compared with histopathologic analyses to confirm the presence or absence of residual tumor.


There was no residual enhancement in seven lesions on the postablation breast MRI scans. These findings were confirmed by negative histopathologic findings in the surgical specimens. The MRI scans of five patients showed small areas of irregular enhancement that corresponded to residual lesions. In the two remaining patients, we observed enhancement of almost the entire lesion, indicating that RFA had failed.


Breast MRI is effective in detecting residual lesions after RFA in patients with IDC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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