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Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2016 Sep 8;4(9):e1023. eCollection 2016 Sep.

Avoiding a Systematic Error in Assessing Fat Graft Survival in the Breast with Repeated Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, Breast Surgery and Burns, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Radiology, Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; Cell Therapy Facility, The Blood Bank, Department of Clinical Immunology, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; and Department of Radiology, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Several techniques for measuring breast volume (BV) are based on examining the breast on magnetic resonance imaging. However, when techniques designed to measure total BV are used to quantify BV changes, for example, after fat grafting, a systematic error is introduced because BV changes lead to contour alterations of the breast. The volume of the altered breast includes not only the injected volume but also tissue previously surrounding the breast. Therefore, the quantitative difference in BV before and after augmentation will differ from the injected volume. Here, we present a new technique to measure BV changes that compensates for this systematic error by defining the boundaries of the breast to immovable osseous pointers. This approach avoids the misinterpretation of tissue included within the expanded boundaries as graft tissue. This new method of analysis may be a reliable tool for assessing BV changes to determine fat graft retention and may be useful for evaluating and comparing available surgical techniques for breast augmentation and reconstruction using fat grafting.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article. This study was supported by the Danish Cancer Society. The Article Processing Charge was paid for by the Danish Cancer Society.

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