Diagnosis of breast tumors by contrast-enhanced MR imaging: comparison between the diagnostic performance of dynamic enhancement patterns and morphologic features

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2007 Jan;25(1):104-12. doi: 10.1002/jmri.20812.


Purpose: To compare the diagnostic performance of breast lesions by the enhancement patterns and morphologic criteria on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Materials and methods: Both T1-weighted 3D gradient-echo sequences with high temporal resolution and high-spatial-resolution MRI were performed on 190 patients with a total of 204 enhancing lesions (144 malignant and 60 benign). The enhancement patterns and morphologic features of each mass and nonmass lesion were analyzed, and the diagnostic performance was compared.

Results: The sensitivity and specificity of the morphologic criteria were statistically significantly higher than those of the enhancement patterns (sensitivity: P = 0.0012, specificity: P = 0.0003), and the A(z) values for the three observers were 0.900, 0.919, and 0.900. The diagnostic accuracy of the morphologic criteria for both types of lesions was superior, and the differences were statistically significant (mass: P = 0.0001, nonmass: P = 0.0389).

Conclusion: The analysis of the morphologic features of enhancing breast lesions alone showed higher diagnostic performance; therefore, signal intensity (SI) time-course data may not be needed to diagnose malignant breast lesions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA