Eur J Radiol 2014 Aug 16;83(8):1356-62. Epub 2014 May 16.
Department of Hospital Pathology, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Republic of Korea.
Objective: To evaluate whether the degree of background parenchymal enhancement affects the accuracy of tumor size estimation based on breast MRI.
Methods: Three hundred and twenty-two patients who had known breast cancer and underwent breast MRIs were recruited in our study. The total number of breast cancer cases was 339. All images were assessed retrospectively for the level of background parenchymal enhancement based on the BI-RADS criteria. Maximal lesion diameters were measured on the MRIs, and tumor types (mass vs. non-mass) were assessed. Tumor size differences between the MRI-based estimates and estimates based on pathological examinations were analyzed. The relationship between accuracy and tumor types and clinicopathologic features were also evaluated.
Results: The cases included minimal (47.5%), mild (28.9%), moderate (12.4%) and marked background parenchymal enhancement (11.2%). The tumors of patients with minimal or mild background parenchymal enhancement were more accurately estimated than those of patients with moderate or marked enhancement (72.1% vs. 56.8%; p=0.003). The tumors of women with mass type lesions were significantly more accurately estimated than those of the women with non-mass type lesions (81.6% vs. 28.6%; p<0.001). The tumor of women negative for HER2 was more accurately estimated than those of women positive for HER2 (72.2% vs. 51.6%; p=0.047).
Conclusion: Moderate and marked background parenchymal enhancement is related to the inaccurate estimation of tumor size based on MRI. Non-mass type breast cancer and HER2-positive breast cancer are other factors that may cause inaccurate assessment of tumor size.