Accuracy and precision of contrast enhanced mammography versus MRI for predicting breast cancer size: how "good" are they really?

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate and compare the accuracy and precision of contrast-enhanced mammography (CEM) vs MRI to predict the size of biopsy-proven invasive breast cancer. METHODS: Prospective study, 59 women with invasive breast cancer on needle biopsy underwent CEM and breast MRI. Two breast radiologists read each patient's study, with access limited to one modality. CEM lesion size was measured using low-energy and recombined images and on MRI, the first post-contrast series. Extent of abnormality per quadrant was measured for multifocal lesions. Reference standards were size of largest invasive malignant lesion, invasive (PathInvasive) and whole (PathTotal). Pre-defined clinical concordance ±10 mm. RESULTS: Mean patient age 56 years, 42 (71%) asymptomatic. Lesions were invasive ductal carcinoma 40 (68%) with ductal carcinoma in situ (31/40) in 78%, multifocal in 12 (20%). Median lesion size was 17 mm (invasive) and 27 mm (total), range (5-125 mm). Lin's concordance correlation coefficients for PathTotal 0.75 (95% CI 0.6, 0.84) and 0.71 (95% CI 0.56, 0.82) for MRI and contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) respectively. Mean difference for total size, 3% underestimated and 4% overestimated, and for invasive 41% and 50% overestimate on MRI and CESM respectively. LOAs for PathTotal varied from 60% under to a 2.4 or almost threefold over estimation. MRI was concordant with PathTotal in 36 (64%) cases compared with 32 (57%) for CESM. Both modalities concordant in 26 (46%) cases respectively. CONCLUSION: Neither CEM nor MRI have sufficient accuracy to direct changes in planned treatment without needle biopsy confirmation. ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE: Despite small mean differences in lesion size estimates using CEM or MRI, the 95% limits of agreement do not meet clinically acceptable levels.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20211172
Pages (from-to)20211172
Number of pages1
JournalThe British journal of radiology
Issue number1144
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


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