Magnetic resonance imaging screening of the contralateral breast in women with newly diagnosed breast cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis of incremental cancer detection and impact on surgical management

Meagan Elizabeth Brennan, Nehmat Houssami, Sarah Lord, Petra Macaskill, Les Irwig, J Michael Dixon, Ruth M L Warren, Stefano Ciatto
Journal of Clinical Oncology 2009 November 20, 27 (33): 5640-9

PURPOSE: Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is increasingly used for staging women with breast cancer, including screening for occult contralateral cancer. This article is a review and meta-analysis of studies reporting contralateral MRI in women with newly diagnosed invasive breast cancer.

METHODS: We systematically reviewed the evidence on contralateral MRI, calculating pooled estimates for positive predictive value (PPV), true-positive:false-positive ratio (TP:FP), and incremental cancer detection rate (ICDR) over conventional imaging. Random effects logistic regression examined whether estimates were associated with study quality or clinical variables.

RESULTS: Twenty-two studies reported contralateral malignancies detected only by MRI in 131 of 3,253 women. Summary estimates were as follows: MRI-detected suspicious findings (TP plus FP), 9.3% (95% CI, 5.8% to 14.7%); ICDR, 4.1% (95% CI, 2.7% to 6.0%), PPV, 47.9% (95% CI, 31.8% to 64.6%); TP:FP ratio, 0.92 (95% CI, 0.47 to 1.82). PPV was associated with the number of test positives and baseline imaging. Few studies included consecutive women, and few ascertained outcomes in all subjects. Where reported, 35.1% of MRI-detected cancers were ductal carcinoma in situ (mean size = 6.9 mm), 64.9% were invasive cancers (mean size = 9.3 mm), and the majority were stage pTis or pT1 and node negative. Effect on treatment was inconsistently reported, but many women underwent contralateral mastectomy.

CONCLUSION: MRI detects contralateral lesions in a substantial proportion of women, but does not reliably distinguish benign from malignant findings. Relatively high ICDR may be due to selection bias and/or overdetection. Women must be informed of the uncertain benefit and potential harm, including additional investigations and surgery.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"