(HealthDay News) — Abbreviated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is associated with a significantly higher rate of invasive breast cancer detection compared with digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) among women with dense breasts, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Christopher E. Comstock, M.D., from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues compared the screening performance of abbreviated breast MRI and DBT in 1,444 average-risk women aged 40 to 75 years with heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breasts undergoing routine screening.

The researchers found that the reference standard was positive for invasive cancer with or without ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in 17 women and for DCIS alone in six women. During follow-up, there were no interval cancers. All 17 women with invasive cancer and five with DCIS were detected by abbreviated breast MRI; DBT detected seven with invasive cancer and two with DCIS. The invasive cancer detection rate was 11.8 and 4.8 per 1,000 women for abbreviated breast MRI and DBT, respectively. For detection of invasive breast cancer and DCIS, sensitivity was 95.7 and 39.1 percent for abbreviated MRI and DBT, while specificity was 86.7 and 97.4 percent, respectively.

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“While these early results are promising, further studies are needed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of widespread screening with abbreviated breast MRI and its impact on reducing breast cancer mortality,” Comstock said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to biopharmaceutical and medical device companies, including Bracco Diagnostics.

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