A new MR procedure that uses diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to
determine whether or not a breast lesion is malignant or benign may
help reduce unnecessary breast biopsies, according to a study performed
at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD. DWI is a method
that produces images detecting the exchange of water molecules between
tissue compartments (diffusion).
The study included 80 patients
with 85 lesions. Quantitative analysis of DWI was used to determine
whether or not a lesion was benign or malignant. “Using
diffusion-weighted imaging can reflect the cellular density of a lesion
without using contrast,” said Riham El-Khouli, MD, lead author of the
study. “The quantitative analysis of DWI correctly identified that 50
of 60 lesions as malignant. At the same time, it correctly identified
that 23 of 25 of the lesions were benign. Lesions with higher cellular
density are more likely to be malignant,” she said.
“MR imaging of the breast is very common. It is typically used for
screening patients with an increased risk of developing breast cancer
(patients with a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer
and patients with certain genetic mutations). It is also used for some
patients who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer or for
patients with complex mammograms,” said Dr. El-Khouli.
This new MR method that uses diffusion-weighted imaging only adds to
the benefits of using MR for breast imaging by improving the ability of
MRI to characterize benign from malignant lesions. Hopefully, this
procedure will help save women from unnecessary breast biopsies by
decreasing the false-positive rates of MRI,” said Dr. El-Khouli.
News release courtesy of The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS)