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Ann Surg Oncol. 1998 Apr-May;5(3):265-70.

Routine screening for local recurrence following breast-conserving therapy for cancer with dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of the breast.

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The University of Hull Academic Surgical Unit, Castle Hill Hospital, United Kingdom.



Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast is highly sensitive for the diagnosis of primary breast malignancy. We investigated the clinical application of dedicated dynamic breast MR for routine screening for local recurrence following breast-conserving therapy.


Patients underwent a single dynamic MR of the breast routinely in the period 1 to 2 years following treatment, or earlier if recurrence was suspected. A biopsy was performed if there was suspicion of recurrence on MR.


One hundred and five patients with a median age of 58 years (range 50 to 65 years) were recruited for the study. Sixteen biopsies were performed and nine recurrences were confirmed histologically. Patients not undergoing biopsy have been followed up for a median of 341 days (range 168 to 451 days) following the MR. The sensitivity for clinical examination, mammography, examination combined with mammography, and MRI alone for the detection of recurrent cancer were 89%, 67%, 100%, and 100%, respectively, and the specificity was 76%, 85%, 67%, and 93%.


Combined clinical examination and mammography are as sensitive as dedicated dynamic MR of the breast for the detection of locoregional recurrence, but breast MRI is associated with a far greater specificity. Therefore, dedicated dynamic breast MRI should be used when there is clinical or mammographic suspicion of recurrence to confirm or refute its presence.

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