Indeterminate or Suspicious Breast Lesions Detected Initially with MR Imaging. Value of MRI-directed Breast Ultrasound

Cholatip Wiratkapun, Deirdre Duke, Amy S. Nordmann, Panuwat Lertsithichai, Vamsidhar Narra, Premsri T. Barton, Charles F. Hildebolt, Kyongtae T. Bae

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Rationale and Objectives: To retrospectively determine the value of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-directed breast ultrasonography (US) in the evaluation of indeterminate or suspicious lesions identified on contrast-enhanced, breast MRI. Materials and Methods: A total of 395 patients presenting for breast MRI during a 4-year period was retrospectively reviewed. Seventy-one patients were recommended for MRI-directed US for further characterization of indeterminate or suspicious breast lesions detected on MRI. Fifty-five patients (all female; age 31-80 years) had US. Their MRI and US were reviewed and tested for correlations with histologic results or long term follow-up. Logistic regression analyses were used to test for associations between MRI lesion characteristics and US detection rate. Results: US identified 46 of 97 (47%) lesions depicted at MRI from 55 patients (47 [85%] of these patients had histories of breast malignancies). Twelve cancers were found from the 97 lesions (12%). Biopsy was avoidable in 10 lesions (10%). The detection rate with US was slightly higher with "mass" (55% [23/42]) lesions described in MRI than "non-mass" lesions or lymph nodes (42% [23/55]). There was a significant positive association (odd ratio = 1.23: 95% CI = 1.05-1.43, P = .01) between US detection rate and MRI mass lesion size. There was no statistical significance between US detection rate and the presence of malignancies; 42% (5/12) of MRI malignant lesions were not visualized with US. Conclusions: MRI-directed US reduced the number of biopsies required for indeterminate or suspicious MRI lesions. Nevertheless, the lesions which were biopsied had a low rate of malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-625
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Breast cancer
  • MR imaging
  • ultrasonography


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