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MR spectroscopy identifies breast cancer, reduces biopsies
Date:9/24/2007

, Dr. Bartella said. Potentially, the use of proton MR spectroscopy may help decrease the number of benign biopsies for non-mass enhancing lesions.

For the study, Dr. Bartella and colleagues performed H MRS on 32 non-mass enhancing breast lesions in 32 women, age 20 to 63. Twenty-five of the patients had lesions that had been labeled suspicious at MRI.

H MRS can provide radiologists with chemical information about a lesion by measuring the levels of choline compounds, which are markers of an active tumor. In the study, positive choline findings were present in 15 of 32 lesions, including all 12 cancers, giving H MRS a specificity of 85 percent and a sensitivity of 100 percent. If only the lesions with positive choline findings had been biopsied, 17 (68 percent) of 25 lesions may have been spared invasive biopsies and none of the cancers would have been missed.

By performing MR spectroscopy of the suspicious lesion after an MRI scan, we can noninvasively see which tumors show elevated choline levels and are likely malignant, Dr. Bartella said. This chemical information added to the information provided by MRI can eliminate the need for biopsy to find out what the lesion is made of.

Dr. Bartella hopes that in the future, MR spectroscopy will be incorporated into routine diagnostic breast MRI procedures, significantly decreasing the need for needle biopsies.


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Contact: Linda Brooks
media@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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