Interpreting contrast imaging to plan breast surgery

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BACKGROUND: Contrast enhanced mammography (CEM) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are more accurate than conventional imaging (CI) for breast cancer staging. How adding CEM and MRI to CI might change the surgical plan is understudied.

METHODS: Surgical plans (breast conserving surgery (BCS), wider BCS, BCS with diagnostic excision (>1BCS), mastectomy) were devised by mock-MDT (radiologist, surgeon and pathology reports) according to disease extent on CI, CI + CEM and CI + MRI. Differences in the mock-MDT's surgical plans following the addition of CEM or MRI were investigated. Using pre-defined criteria, the appropriateness of the modified plans was assessed by comparing estimated disease extent on imaging with final pathology. Surgery performed was recorded from patient records.

RESULTS: Contrast imaging modified mock-MDT plans for 20 of 61(32.8%) breasts. The addition of CEM changed the plan in 16/20 (80%) and MRI in 17/20 breasts (85%). Identical changes were proposed by both CEM and MRI in 13/20 (65%) breasts. The modified surgical plan based on CI + CEM was possibly appropriate for 6/16 (37.5%), and CI + MRI in 9/17, (52.9%) breasts. The surgery performed was concordant with the mock-MDT plan for all 10 patients where the plans could be compared (BCS 1, >1 BCS 2 and mastectomy 7).

CONCLUSION: Adding CEM or MRI to CI changed mock-MDT plans in up to one third of women, but not all were appropriate. Changing surgical plans following addition of contrast imaging to CI without biopsy confirmation could lead to over or under-treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2197-2202
Number of pages6
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


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