Radiologic and pathologic findings in breast tumors with high signal intensity on T2-weighted MR images

Radiographics. 2010 Mar;30(2):533-48. doi: 10.1148/rg.302095044.


Various histopathologic components in benign and malignant breast lesions may generate hyperintense signal at T2-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. A comparison of the specific histologic features found in breast lesions with a high-signal-intensity appearance on unenhanced T2-weighted turbo spin-echo MR images obtained without spectral fat suppression shows that this MR imaging characteristic is often suggestive of the differential diagnosis. Histopathologic features that may produce high signal intensity in breast lesions include extensive necrosis, a cystic or microcystic component, an adipose or sebaceous component, mucinous stroma, loose myxoid stroma, stromal edema, and hemorrhagic changes. A more nuanced understanding of the correlation between the MR imaging appearance and specific pathologic findings may help radiologists achieve earlier and more accurate differentiation among this group of breast lesions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*