Diffusion-weighted MRI at 3.0 T for detection of occult disease in the contralateral breast in women with newly diagnosed breast cancer

Su Min Ha, Jung Min Chang, Su Hyun Lee, Eun Sil Kim, Soo Yeon Kim, Nariya Cho, Woo Kyung Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) offers unenhanced method to detect breast cancer without cost and safety concerns associated with dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI. Our purpose was to evaluate the performance of DW-MRI at 3.0T in detection of clinically and mammographically occult contralateral breast cancer in patients with unilateral breast cancer. Methods: Between 2017 and 2018, 1130 patients (mean age 53.3 years; range 26–84 years) with newly diagnosed unilateral breast cancer who underwent breast MRI and had no abnormalities on clinical and mammographic examinations of contralateral breast were included. Three experienced radiologists independently reviewed DW-MRI (b = 0 and 1000 s/mm2) and DCE-MRI and assigned a BI-RADS category. Using histopathology or 1-year clinical follow-up, performance measures of DW-MRI were compared with DCE-MRI. Results: A total of 21 (1.9%, 21/1130) cancers were identified (12 ductal carcinoma in situ and 9 invasive ductal carcinoma; mean invasive tumor size, 8.0 mm) in the contralateral breast. Cancer detection rate of DW-MRI was 13–15 with mean of 14 per 1000 examinations (95% confidence interval [CI] 9–23 per 1000 examinations), which was lower than that of DCE-MRI (18–19 with mean of 18 per 1000 examinations, P = 0.01). A lower abnormal interpretation rate (14.0% versus 17.0%, respectively, P < 0.001) with higher specificity (87.3% versus 84.6%, respectively, P < 0.001) but lower sensitivity (77.8% versus 96.8%, respectively, P < 0.001) was noted for DW-MRI compared to DCE-MRI. Conclusions: DW-MRI at 3.0T has the potential as a cost-effective tool for evaluation of contralateral breast in women with newly diagnosed breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-297
Number of pages15
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Breast cancer
  • Dense breast
  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • MR imaging
  • Screening

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