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3T MRI Detects “Early” Breast Cancer Not Seen on Mammography and Sonography

3T MRI, a powerful tool for evaluating patients with a high risk of having breast cancer, can detect a significant number of lesions not found on mammography and sonography, according to a study performed at the University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, OH.

The study included 434 women who underwent mammography, sonography and 3T MRI for the detection of malignant breast lesions—all women were at high risk.

Results showed that 3T MRI detected 66/66 malignant lesions; mammography detected 54/66 malignant lesions; and sonography detected 57/66 malignant lesions. “3T MRI depicted a significantly higher number of malignant tumors of the breast than mammography and sonography,” said Haitham Elsamaloty, MD, lead author of the study.

“Our study detected ‘early’ breast cancer (lesions as small as 4 mm) in size and also identified malignant lesions that were only detected by MRI and confirmed by MRI guided biopsy. These crucial findings led to a significant change in patient management in 18.2% of the cases in our study.

“Our study suggests an important role for 3T MRI in such high risk groups for an early diagnosis of breast cancer and better accuracy in evaluating the extent of disease—a crucial factor in appropriate therapy planning,” said Dr. Elsamaloty.

“High field strength (3T) MRI systems are becoming increasingly available in the clinical setting and more of them are being used for the evaluation of breast malignancy. 3T MRI is an important addition to mammography and sonography,” he said.

This study appears in the April issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. For a copy of the full study, please contact Heather Curry via email at

About ARRS

The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900 and is the oldest radiology society in the United States. Its monthly journal, the American Journal of Roentgenology, began publication in 1906. Radiologists from all over the world attend the ARRS annual meeting to participate in instructional courses, scientific paper presentations and scientific and commercial exhibits related to the field of radiology. The Society is named after the first Nobel Laureate in Physics, Wilhelm Röentgen, who discovered the x-ray in 1895.

Heather Curry | EurekAlert!
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