Journal Article
Review
Add like
Add dislike
Add to saved papers

The paradox of MRI for breast cancer screening: high-risk and dense breasts-available evidence and current practice.

Insights Into Imaging 2024 March 28
In the mid-1990s, the identification of BRCA1/2 genes for breast cancer susceptibility led to testing breast MRI accuracy in screening women at increased risk. From 2000 onwards, ten intraindividual comparative studies showed the marked superiority of MRI: the sensitivity ranged 25-58% for mammography, 33-52% for ultrasound, 48-67% for mammography plus ultrasound, and 71-100% for MRI; specificity 93-100%, 91-98%, 89-98%, and 81-98%, respectively. Based on the available evidence, in 2006-2007, the UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence and the American Cancer Society recommended MRI screening of high-risk women, followed by other international guidelines. Despite evidence-based medicine ideally requiring randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for policy changes regarding screening procedures, breast MRI for high-risk screening was adopted in many countries worldwide. In 2019, the results of the "DENSE" RCT were published in favour of breast MRI screening of women with extremely dense breasts compared to mammography alone, showing a reduction of more than 80% of the interval cancer rate in women who attended MRI screening. Even though international recommendations in favour of this practice were issued, substantial obstacles still prevent health systems from adopting breast MRI for screening women with extremely dense breasts. A paradox is evident: we adopted a screening procedure without evidence from RCTs, and now that we have this level-1 evidence for the same procedure, we fail to do so. This critical review tries to explain the differences between the two cases, as examples of the complex pathways of translating radiological research into everyday practice.Critical relevance statement The high-level evidence in favour of breast MRI screening of women with extremely dense breasts is failing to persuade policy makers to translate this into clinical practice.Key points• Breast MRI screening of high-risk women was adopted on basis of the evidence provided by test accuracy comparative studies showing an MRI performance greatly superior to that of mammography.• Breast MRI screening of women with extremely dense breasts has not been adopted although the evidence of a large reduction in interval cancer rate from a RCT.• We illustrate the differences between the two cases, as an example of the complex ways of translation of radiological research in clinical practice according to the EBM theory.

Full text links

We have located links that may give you full text access.
Can't access the paper?
Try logging in through your university/institutional subscription. For a smoother one-click institutional access experience, please use our mobile app.

Related Resources

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

Mobile app image

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2024 by WebMD LLC.
This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.

By using this service, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.

Your Privacy Choices Toggle icon

You can now claim free CME credits for this literature searchClaim now

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app