Image quality and diagnostic performance of silicone-specific breast MRI

Magn Reson Imaging. 2013 Nov;31(9):1472-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2013.05.011. Epub 2013 Jul 27.


Purpose: To compare the image quality of three techniques and diagnostic performance in detecting implant rupture.

Materials and methods: The study included 161 implants for the evaluation of image quality, composed of water-saturated short TI inversion recovery (herein called "water-sat STIR"), three-point Dixon techniques (herein called "Dixon"), and short TI inversion recovery fast spin-echo with iterative decomposition of silicone and water using least-squares approximation (herein called "STIR IDEAL") and included 41 implants for the evaluation of diagnostic performance in detecting rupture, composed of water-sat STIR and STIR IDEAL. Six image quality categories were evaluated and three classifications were used: normal implant, possible rupture, and definite rupture.

Results: Statistically significant differences were noted for the image quality categories (p<0.001). STIR IDEAL was superior or equal to water-sat STIR in all image quality categories except artifact effects and superior to Dixon in all categories. Water-sat STIR performed the poorest for water suppression uniformity. The sensitivity and specificity in detecting implant rupture of STIR-IDEAL were 81.8 % and 77.8 % and the difference between two techniques was not statistically significant.

Conclusion: STIR-IDEAL is a useful silicone-specific imaging technique demonstrating more robust water suppression and equivalent diagnostic accuracy for detecting implant rupture, than water-sat STIR, at the cost of longer scan time and an increase in minor motion artifacts.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Image quality enhancement; Magnetic resonance imaging; Silicone gel.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Artifacts
  • Breast / pathology*
  • Breast Implants*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Prosthesis Failure*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Silicones / chemistry*


  • Silicones