False-negative MR imaging of malignant breast tumors
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In this study we analyze MR-negative malignant lesions of the breast. A total of 204 patients with palpable and/or mammographic lesions were studied. The MR technique consisted of the turbo FLASH and MP-RAGE subtraction techniques. All patients underwent surgical biopsy and/or mastectomy and all specimens were examined by the correlative radiologic-histologic mapping technique. A total of 208 lesions were evaluated; 145 turned out to be malignant and 63 proved to be benign. Six malignant lesions were misinterpreted as benign on MR imaging; thus, suspicious contrast enhancement was present in 96 % of the lesions detected by mammography, US, or clinical examination. Especially 4 of the 17 ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) lesions were misinterpreted (23.5 %). Despite optimal technique, 6 malignant lesions were not identified by MR imaging. The highest prevalence of these MR occult lesions was in the group of DCIS. Although MR imaging has an important role in the evaluation of breast lesions and, primarily, in ruling out malignancy, one should be aware of the fact that false-negative MR findings do occur.
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