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Radiology. 2012 May;263(2):374-82. doi: 10.1148/radiol.12111368.

In vivo assessment of ductal carcinoma in situ grade: a model incorporating dynamic contrast-enhanced and diffusion-weighted breast MR imaging parameters.

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Department of Radiology and Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98109-1023, USA.



To develop a model incorporating dynamic contrast material-enhanced (DCE) and diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging features to differentiate high-nuclear-grade (HNG) from non-HNG ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in vivo.


This HIPAA-compliant study was approved by the institutional review board and requirement for informed consent was waived. A total of 55 pure DCIS lesions (19 HNG, 36 non-HNG) in 52 women who underwent breast MR imaging at 1.5 T with both DCE and DW imaging (b = 0 and 600 sec/mm(2)) were retrospectively reviewed. The following lesion characteristics were recorded or measured: DCE morphology, DCE maximum lesion size, peak initial enhancement at 90 seconds, worst-curve delayed enhancement kinetics, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) at DW imaging with b values of 0 and 600 sec/mm(2), and T2 signal effects (measured with CNR at b = 0 sec/mm(2)). Univariate and stepwise multivariate logistic regression modeling was performed to identify MR imaging features that optimally discriminated HNG from non-HNG DCIS. Discriminative abilities of models were compared by using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC).


HNG lesions exhibited larger mean maximum lesion size (P = .02) and lower mean CNR for images with b value of 600 sec/mm(2) (P = .004), allowing discrimination of HNG from non-HNG DCIS (AUC = 0.71 for maximum lesion size, AUC = 0.70 for CNR at b = 600 sec/mm(2)). Differences in CNR for images with b value of 0 sec/mm(2) (P = .025) without corresponding differences in ADC values were observed between HNG and non-HNG lesions. Peak initial enhancement was the only kinetic variable to approach significance (P = .05). No differences in lesion morphology (P = .11) or worst-curve delayed enhancement kinetics (P = .97) were observed. A multivariate model combining CNR for images with b value of 600 sec/mm(2) and maximum lesion size most significantly discriminated HNG from non-HNG (AUC = 0.81).


The preliminary findings suggest that DCE and DW MR imaging features may aid in identifying patients with high-risk DCIS. Further study may yield a model combining MR characteristics with histopathologic data to facilitate lesion-specific targeted therapies. © RSNA, 2012.

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