Purpose: To correlate quantitative echo-planar magnetic resonance (MR) imaging measures of gadopentetate dimeglumine tumor uptake with histologic diagnoses and microvessel density (MVD) and to compare dynamic echo-planar imaging of breast lesions with conventional dynamic MR imaging techniques.
Materials and methods: The study group comprised 63 patients (aged 13-70 years) with 71 breast lesions who underwent conventional and echo-planar MR imaging. The T1 values, change in gadopentetate dimeglumine concentration, and extraction-flow products were calculated with the echo-planar imaging data and were correlated with histologic findings and MVD estimates. Extraction-flow product data normalized to pectoral muscle gadopentetate dimeglumine concentration in invasive cancers was also correlated with MVD.
Results: On average, cancer T1 values were shorter than benign values, but there was substantial overlap between the two groups. Cancers had higher extraction-flow products than benign lesions (P < .001). Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 83%, 79%, 67%, and 90%, respectively. Receiver operating characteristic analysis showed improved performance with extraction-flow products than with percentages of signal intensity change. Among the invasive cancers, there was no significant correlation between extraction-flow product and MVD.
Conclusion: The T1 value remains important in more precise quantitative estimation of gadopentetate dimeglumine uptake in breast tumors, which helps improve the specificity of dynamic imaging. Tumor MVD affects the contrast medium enhancement of breast lesions, but other factors contribute.