MRI Screening More Sensitive Than Mammography and Ultrasound for Familial Breast Cancer Irrespective of Age, Mutation Status, or Breast Density

“In a single-center study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Riedl et al found that screening with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) had greater sensitivity for detection of breast cancer in high-risk women vs mammography or ultrasound irrespective of age, mutation status, or breast density. The addition of mammography or ultrasound added little to the sensitivity of MRI.

“In the study, BRCA mutation carriers and women with a high familial risk (> 20% lifetime risk) for breast cancer were offered screening with mammography, ultrasound, and MRI every 12 months at the Medical University of Vienna. Overall, 559 women with 1,365 complete imaging rounds were included in the analyses. There were 204 suspicious findings (15%). Of these, 38 (19%) were malignant; two additional cancers were found during the study period, including one identified by patient-requested biopsy and one interval cancer…

“The investigators concluded: ‘MRI allows early detection of familial breast cancer regardless of patient age, breast density, or risk status. The added value of mammography is limited, and there is no added value of ultrasound in women undergoing MRI for screening.’ ”