Accuracy of axillary MR imaging in treated breast cancer for distinguishing between recurrent tumour and treatment effects: does intravenous Gd-DTPA enhancement help in cases of diagnostic dilemma?
AffiliationDepartment of Diagnostic Radiology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, England, UK. Alison@radiologist.net
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AbstractAIM: To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of axillary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in symptomatic patients, who had previously been treated for breast cancer, compared with clinical outcome after a minimum of 1 year.METHODS: One hundred and five patients underwent axillary MRI examinations and were diagnosed as axillary tumour, metastatic tumour, treatment effect or normal. RESULTS: At MRI, 48 patients had axillary tumour, 51 had metastatic tumour (37 had both), 27 had treatment effect and 22 were normal. At outcome (median follow-up, 484 days), 54 patients were positive for axillary tumour, 59 for metastatic disease (40 had both), 21 had treatment effect alone and 18 were clear. Magnetic resonance imaging showed 89% sensitivity, 100% specificity and 94% accuracy for recurrent axillary tumour, and 85% sensitivity, 98% specificity and 90% accuracy for metastatic tumour. Soft tissue plaques were the commonest axillary disease pattern seen (37). Small volume soft tissue plaques gave the most diagnostic difficulty. Non-dynamic enhancement with intravenous Gadopentetate dimeglumine (Gd-DTPA) in a subset of 34 patients improved sensitivity for axillary tumour from 40 to 74%, and improved diagnostic confidence in 11 patients (32%). Magnetic resonance imaging had a positive management impact leading to treatment alteration in 45 patients, 43 of whom had recurrent axillary and/or metastatic tumour.CONCLUSIONS: Tumour plaques were the commonest pattern of recurrent axillary disease. Forty-eight percent of the patients had metastatic deposits identified by MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging had excellent specificity (100%) and good sensitivity (89%) for recurrent axillary tumour compared with outcome at 1 year, which was improved by non-dynamic administration of Gd-DTPA in 32% of the subset who received it.
CitationAccuracy of axillary MR imaging in treated breast cancer for distinguishing between recurrent tumour and treatment effects: does intravenous Gd-DTPA enhancement help in cases of diagnostic dilemma? 2000, 55 (12):921-8 Clin Radiol
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