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Surveillance Breast MRI and Mammography: Comparison in Women with a Personal History of Breast Cancer



There is lack of consensus regarding the use of breast MRI for routine surveillance for second breast cancer events in women with a personal history of breast cancer.


To compare performance of surveillance mammography with breast MRI.

Materials and Methods

This observational cohort study used prospectively collected data and included 13 266 women age 18 years and older (mean age, 60 years ± 13) with stage 0-III breast cancer who underwent 33 938 mammographic examinations and 2506 breast MRI examinations from 2005 to 2012 in the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium. Women were categorized into two groups: mammography alone (n = 11 745) or breast MRI (n = 1521). Performance measures were calculated by using end-of-day assessment and occurrence of second breast cancer events within 1 year of imaging. Logistic regression was used to compare performance for breast MRI versus mammography alone, adjusting for women, examination, and primary breast cancer characteristics. Analysis was conducted on a per-examination basis.


Breast MRI was associated with younger age at diagnosis, chemotherapy, and higher education and income. Raw performance measures for breast MRI versus mammography were as follows, respectively: cancer detection rates, 10.8 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.7, 14.8) versus 8.2 (95% CI: 7.3, 9.2) per 1000 examinations; sensitivity, 61.4% (27 of 44; 95% CI: 46.5%, 76.2%) versus 70.3% (279 of 397; 95% CI: 65.8%, 74.8%); and biopsy rate, 10.1% (253 of 2506; 95% CI: 8.9%, 11.3%) versus 4.0% (1343 of 33 938; 95% CI: 3.7%, 4.2%). In multivariable models, breast MRI was associated with higher biopsy rate (odds ratio [OR], 2.2; 95% CI: 1.9, 2.7; P < .001) and cancer detection rate (OR, 1.7; 95% CI: 1.1, 2.7; P = .03) than mammography alone. However, there were no differences in sensitivity (OR, 1.1; 95% CI: 0.4, 2.9; P = .84) or interval cancer rate (OR, 1.1; 95% CI: 0.6, 2.2; P = .70).


Comparison of the performance of surveillance breast MRI with mammography must account for patient characteristics. Whereas breast MRI leads to higher biopsy and cancer detection rates, there were no significant differences in sensitivity or interval cancers compared with mammography.

To read more, see the following article on the PubMed website: PMID: 31161975