Magnetic resonance imaging screening in women at genetic risk of breast cancer: imaging and analysis protocol for the UK multicentre study. UK MRI Breast Screening Study Advisory Group

Magn Reson Imaging. 2000 Sep;18(7):765-76. doi: 10.1016/s0730-725x(00)00167-3.


The imaging and analysis protocol of the UK multicentre study of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a method of screening for breast cancer in women at genetic risk is described. The study will compare the sensitivity and specificity of contrast-enhanced MRI with two-view x-ray mammography. Approximately 500 women below the age of 50 at high genetic risk of breast cancer will be recruited per year for three years, with annual MRI and x-ray mammography continuing for up to 5 years. A symptomatic cohort will be measured in the first year to ensure consistent reporting between centres. The MRI examination comprises a high-sensitivity three-dimensional contrast-enhanced assessment, followed by a high-specificity contrast-enhanced study in equivocal cases. Multiparametric analysis will encompass morphological assessment, the kinetics of contrast agent uptake and determination of quantitative pharmacokinetic parameters. Retrospective analysis will identify the most specific indicators of malignancy. Sensitivity and specificity, together with diagnostic performance, diagnostic impact and therapeutic impact will be assessed with reference to pathology, follow-up and changes in diagnostic certainty and therapeutic decisions. Mammography, lesion localisation, pathology and cytology will be performed in accordance with the UK NHS Breast Screening Programme quality assurance standards. Similar standards of quality assurance will be applied for MR measurements and evaluation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Mammography / methods*
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • United Kingdom


  • Contrast Media