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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2019 Mar 5:1-9. doi: 10.2214/AJR.18.20157. [Epub ahead of print]

Use of Contrast-Enhanced MRI in Management of Discordant Core Biopsy Results.

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1 All authors: Breast Center, RWJ Barnabas Health, 200 South Orange Ave, Livingston, NJ 07039.



Evaluating concordance between core biopsy results and imaging findings is an integral component of breast intervention. Pathologic results deemed benign discordant reflect concern that a malignancy may have been incorrectly sampled. Standard of care currently is surgical excision, although a large percentage of these lesions will be benign at final pathologic analysis. The purpose of this study was to determine whether inclusion of contrast-enhanced MRI would optimize patient care.


Forty-five patients with 46 lesions were identified who underwent contrast-enhanced MRI after receiving discordant ultrasound or stereotactic biopsy results between 2012 and mid 2018. These findings were classified BI-RADS category 4 at diagnostic imaging. Disease-positive was defined as all malignancies and borderline lesions.


Fourteen patients had suspicious MRI findings; 31 patients did not. Negative or benign MRI findings were validated by stability at imaging follow-up of at least 1 year in 27 patients (28 lesions) and at least 6 months in four patients. Eight of the total of 46 discordant lesions were ultimately malignant, a rate of 17.3%, an expected result for BI-RADS 4 lesions. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of MRI calculated in the group of 41 patients (42 lesions) with documented stability for at least 1 year were 100%, 93.3%, 85.7%, and 100%. The false-negative rate of MRI was 0%; the false-positive rate was 2 of 30 (6.7%).


In the management of discordant benign core biopsy results, contrast-enhanced MRI facilitated successful triage of patients to surgery; 31 of the original 45 patients (68.9%) avoided surgery.


breast imaging; contrast-enhanced MRI; discordant core biopsy


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