Study: MRI better at DCIS detection than mammography

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MRI is better at detecting ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) than conventional screening mammography, according to a recent study conducted by researchers from the department of radiology at the University of Bonn in Bonn, Germany, and published in this week’s The Lancet.

Lead author Dr. Christine Kuhl and colleagues performed MRIs and mammograms on 7,319 women referred to their center over a 5-year period. They investigated the sensitivity of each method of detection and compared the biological and risk profiles of women with mammography-detected DCIS with those of MRI-detected DCIS.

Out of the study cohort, 193 women received a final surgical pathology diagnosis of pure DCIS. Of those, 167 had undergone both imaging tests preoperatively -- 56 percent of these cases were diagnosed by mammography and 92 percent by MRI, according to the researchers. Of the 89 high-grade DCIS cases, 48 percent were missed by mammography, but diagnosed by MRI alone; all 43 cases missed by mammography were detected by MRI.

"MRI could help improve the ability to diagnose DCIS, especially DCIS with high nuclear grade," Kuhl's team wrote.