We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App

MRI Far Superior in Cancer Detection than Hand-Held & Automated Ultrasound and DBT

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 01 Feb 2023
Print article
Image: Breast MRI is more effective at detecting cancer in dense breasts (Photo courtesy of Pexels)
Image: Breast MRI is more effective at detecting cancer in dense breasts (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Breast cancer is among the leading causes of cancer death in women. Dense breasts are an independent risk factor of breast cancer. In women with dense breasts, there is higher glandular tissue and fibrous connective tissue and low fatty tissue. Screening mammography can detect about 98% of cancer in fatty breasts, but can more easily miss breast cancer in dense breasts, resulting in a negative mammogram and providing patients with a false sense of reassurance. Women with dense breasts may require supplemental screening to assist in cancer detection. Now, a new study has found that breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is superior at detecting breast cancer in women with dense breasts as compared to common supplemental screening methods.

Hand-held breast ultrasound, automated breast ultrasound, digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) and breast MRI are the four most common supplemental imaging tests. In a study to measure the most beneficial screening method for women with dense breasts, researchers at the University of Toronto (Ontario, Canada) conducted a meta-analysis on 22 studies that included 261,233 patients screened for breast cancer. Out of these, 10 studies covered hand-held breast ultrasound, four studies covered automated breast ultrasound, three studies covered breast MRI, and eight studies reported on DBT. Out of the patients included in the study, 132,166 had dense breasts and a negative mammogram.

Risk assessment models have been used to identify patients with an average and intermediate risk of developing breast cancer. In the United States, women with an estimated lifetime risk of 12 to 13% of developing breast cancer are considered average risk. Factors that elevate the risk to intermediate include having a history of treated breast cancer or previous breast biopsies with high-risk lesions. High-risk patients, with a lifetime risk of 20% or higher, were excluded from the study since the benefit of breast MRI is already established in high-risk populations.

A meta-analysis found that out of the 132,166 patients with dense breasts, 541 breast cancers that were initially missed on mammography were detected using supplemental screening methods. Breast MRI was the most superior screening method and could detect even the smallest of cancers. Excluding MRI, the analysis found no significant difference between the other supplemental screening methods. These results indicate the effectiveness of breast MRI in cancer detection, although more research is required.

“MRI is far superior in terms of cancer detection compared to hand-held ultrasound, automated ultrasound and digital breast tomosynthesis. Our results about the role of MRI in supplementary screening will allow stakeholders to guide healthcare policies in this setting and direct further research,” said study co-author Vivianne Freitas, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Canada. “Before we can advocate for wider application of breast MRI in these women, further evaluation of cost-effectiveness of breast MRI compared to other techniques, effect on mortality reduction, etc., will need to be studied. At the current time, availability and cost of the breast MRI remain the biggest barrier for widespread implementation.”

Related Links:
University of Toronto 

Gold Member
Solid State Kv/Dose Multi-Sensor
C-Arm with FPD
Digiscan V20 / V30
Portable X-Ray Unit
Ultrasound System
P20 Elite

Print article


Nuclear Medicine

view channel
Image: The new SPECT/CT technique demonstrated impressive biomarker identification (Journal of Nuclear Medicine: doi.org/10.2967/jnumed.123.267189)

New SPECT/CT Technique Could Change Imaging Practices and Increase Patient Access

The development of lead-212 (212Pb)-PSMA–based targeted alpha therapy (TAT) is garnering significant interest in treating patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The imaging of 212Pb,... Read more

General/Advanced Imaging

view channel
Image: The Tyche machine-learning model could help capture crucial information. (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

New AI Method Captures Uncertainty in Medical Images

In the field of biomedicine, segmentation is the process of annotating pixels from an important structure in medical images, such as organs or cells. Artificial Intelligence (AI) models are utilized to... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel
Image: The new Medical Imaging Suite makes healthcare imaging data more accessible, interoperable and useful (Photo courtesy of Google Cloud)

New Google Cloud Medical Imaging Suite Makes Imaging Healthcare Data More Accessible

Medical imaging is a critical tool used to diagnose patients, and there are billions of medical images scanned globally each year. Imaging data accounts for about 90% of all healthcare data1 and, until... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.