Breast lesions missed by conventional imaging can be detected by breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), according to a study performed at the University of Rome.

For the study, led by Valeria Dominelli, MD, researchers recruited 164 women with biopsy-proven breast cancer and analyzed how breast MRI influenced the surgical management choices of the women.

Researchers reported that for 32 of the women, breast MRI chanced the therapeutic procedure previously proposed based on mammography and ultrasound. Moreover, breast MRI also detected 51 additional suspicious lesions not picked up on mammography or ultrasound.

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“Breast MRI positively impacts patient management decisions and should be recommended for mapping tumor extent in patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer,” Dr. Dominelli concluded. “The correct assessment of the disease can help the surgeon plan the most appropriate surgical treatment, possibly reducing the need for re-intervention,” she said.

The findings were presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society.