Detection of breast cancer with conventional mammography and contrast-enhanced MR imaging
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The aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic performance of conventional mammography and dynamic contrast-enhanced fast 3D gradient-echo (GRE) MRI regarding the detection and characterization of breast lesions relative to histopathologic analysis and to assess the results of a combined evaluation of both methods. fifty consecutive patients with 63 histopathologically verified breast lesions underwent dynamic contrast-enhanced GRE MRI in addition to routine conventional mammography. All lesions were classified by both methods on a five-point scale as benign or malignant, and the results were correlated to histopathology. Conventional mammography and dynamic MRI yielded a sensitivity and specificity of 82 and 64 %, and 92 and 76 %, respectively. The difference between the results was statistically not significant (p > 0.05) with areas under the receiver-operating-characteristics curves of 0.807 for mammography and 0.906 for MR imaging. Combination of the results of both methods slightly increased the sensitivity for detection of breast cancer to 95 % but decreased specificity to 52 %. In this selected patient subset, including only patients referred for excisional biopsy, contrast-enhanced dynamic MRI proved more sensitive and specific than conventional mammography regarding the detection of malignancy. While a combination of both methods yields a slightly improved sensitivity, specificity is vastly reduced.
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