A combined high temporal and high spatial resolution 3 Tesla MR imaging protocol for the assessment of breast lesions: initial results

Invest Radiol. 2009 Sep;44(9):553-8. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0b013e3181b4c127.


Purpose: To develop a 3.0 Tesla breast imaging protocol that combines high temporal and spatial resolution three-dimensional MR sequences for quantitative time course and morphologic analysis of breast lesions.

Materials and methods: Thirty-four patients were included in the study (age range, 31-82; mean age, 54.3). The study protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board and written informed consent was obtained from all patients. The magnetic resonance imaging protocol included: a coronal T1-weighted volume-interpolated-breathhold-examination sequence, focused on high temporal resolution for optimal assessment of the contrast-enhancement behavior of lesions (SI 1.7 mm isotropic; TA 3.45 minutes for 17 measurements); a coronal T1-weighted turbo fast-low-angle-shot-three-dimensional sequence, with water-excitation and fat suppression, focused on high spatial resolution for morphologic analysis (SI 1 mm isotropic; TA 2 minutes); and a repeated coronal volume-interpolated-breathhold-examination sequence for detection of washout. Lesion size and morphology were assessed. Region-of-interests for suspicious areas were manually drawn and evaluated for contrast-enhancement behavior by plotting intensity courses against time. Sensitivity and specificity with a 95% confidence interval and the negative predictive value and positive predictive value were calculated. Diagnostic accuracy was assessed. The histopathological diagnoses were used as a standard of reference.

Results: Fifty-five lesions were detected in 34 patients. All malignant breast lesions were identified correctly. There were 5 false-positive lesions. The sensitivity of contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of the breast at 3 T was 100%, with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 90.6% to 100%. The specificity was 72.2%, with a 95% CI of 49.1% to 87.5%. The positive predictive value was 0.88 and the negative predictive value was 1. Diagnostic accuracy was 91% with a 95% CI of 80.4% to 96.1%.

Conclusion: Our prospective study demonstrates that the presented 3 Tesla MR imaging protocol, comprising both high temporal and high spatial resolution, enables accurate detection and assessment of breast lesions.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity