Preoperative MRI of the breasts has been proven to be the most sensitive imaging modality in the detection of multifocal or multicentric tumor manifestations as well as simultaneous contralateral breast cancer. The aim of the presented retrospective study was to evaluate the benefit of preoperative MRI for patients with breast cancer. Preoperative MRI performed in 121 patients (group A) were compared to 225 patients without preoperative MRI (group B). Patients of group A underwent contrast-enhanced MR imaging of the breast using a 2D FLASH sequence technique (TR/TE/FA 336 ms/5 ms/90 degrees; 32 slices of 4-mm thickness, time of acquisition 1:27 min, contrast agent dosage 0.1 mmol Gd-DTPA/kg bw). All patients had histologically verified breast cancer and follow-up for more than 20 months (mean time group A: 40.3 months, group B: 41 months). Both groups received the same types of systemic treatment after breast conserving surgery. The in-breast tumor recurrence rate in group A was 1/86 (1.2%) compared to 9/133 (6.8%) in group B. Contralateral carcinoma were detected within follow-up in 2/121 (1.7%) in group A vs. 9/225 (4%) in group B. All results were statistically significant (P<0.001). Based on these results, preoperative MRI of the breasts is recommended in patients with histopathologically verified breast cancer for local staging.
Copyright 2004 Springer-Verlag