3-D MRI Differentiates Benign, Malignant Lesions Accurately

Spectroscopic imaging provides sensitivity of 97 percent, specificity of 84 percent

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Use of three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopic imaging at 3 tesla (3T) provides high sensitivity and specificity for discriminating benign and malignant breast lesions, according to a study published in the December issue of Radiology.

Stephen Gruber, Ph.D., from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, and colleagues investigated the diagnostic accuracy of 3D MR spectroscopic imaging at 3T, on the basis of choline (Cho) signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio threshold levels, for discrimination of benign and malignant breast lesions. A 3T MR examination was performed for 50 female patients (aged 25 to 82 years) with mammographic and ultrasonographic abnormalities. Histopathologic examination or a follow-up of at least 24 months verified detected lesions. A point-resolved spectroscopic sequence was used for administering 3D MR spectroscopic imaging. All lesions were assessed for the maximum Cho SNR, which was then correlated with histopathologic results.

The investigators found that, in 43 patients, 32 malignant and 19 benign lesions were confirmed with histopathologic examination. Imaging follow-up was performed for seven patients without biopsy. Cho was detected in 31 of the 32 malignant lesions, and in 10 of the 19 benign lesions. The median Cho SNR was 5.7 and 2.0 in malignant and benign lesions, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity provided by 3D MR spectroscopic imaging were 97 and 84 percent, respectively, for differentiation of benign and malignant breast lesions, with a Cho SNR threshold level of 2.6.

"At 3T, 3D MR spectroscopic imaging yields high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for discrimination of benign and malignant breast lesions," the authors write.

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