OAK BROOK, Ill.Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H MRS) used in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can aid radiologists in diagnosing breast cancer while reducing the number of false-positive results and invasive biopsies, according to a study focusing on non-mass enhancing breast lesions. The study, conducted at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, appears in the October issue of the journal Radiology.
All of the cancers present in this study were identified with MR spectroscopy, said the studys lead author, Lia Bartella, M.D., director of breast imaging at Eastside Diagnostic Imaging in New York City.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 212,920 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year. MRI is playing an increasingly important role in the screening of women at high risk for breast cancer. However, while MRI depicts more abnormal findings than other breast screening procedures, it is not 100 percent accurate in distinguishing benign from malignant lesions, resulting in a large number of breast biopsy procedures recommended on the basis of imaging findings. Currently, approximately 80 percent of breast lesions biopsied are found to be benign.
Non-mass enhancing lesions are characterized by enhancement of an area that is not a mass or lump and may extend over large or small regions. Non-mass lesions occur with benign hormonal changes, but can also signify malignancy. Biopsy is often required to distinguish benign non-mass lesions from cancer.
With MR spectroscopy, which adds only 10 minutes to a standard MRI exam, the radiologist is able to see the chemical make-up of a tumor. In most cases, the results indicate whether or not the lesion is cancerous without the need for biopsy.
Non-mass enhancing lesions frequently pose a dilemma to the radiologist when evaluating the breast for the presence of cancer, especially in premenopausal women
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Radiological Society of North America