Diagnostic value of MR elastography in addition to contrast-enhanced MR imaging of the breast-initial clinical results

Katja C Siegmann, Tanja Xydeas, Ralph Sinkus, Bernhard Kraemer, Ulrich Vogel, Claus D Claussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to assess the additional value of magnetic resonance (MR) elastography (MRE) to contrast-enhanced (ce) MR imaging (MRI) for breast lesion characterisation.

METHODS: Fifty-seven suspected breast lesions in 57 patients (mean age 52.4 years) were examined by ce MRI and MRE. All lesions were classified into BI-RADS categories. Viscoelastic parameters, e.g. alpha0 as an indicator of tissue stiffness, were calculated. Histology of the lesions was correlated with BI-RADS and viscoelastic properties. The positive predictive value (PPV) for malignancy, and the sensitivity and specificity of ce MRI were calculated. Receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) curves were separately calculated for both ce MRI and viscoelastic properties and conjoined to analyse the accuracy of diagnostic performance.

RESULTS: The lesions (mean size 27.6 mm) were malignant in 64.9% (n = 37) of cases. The PPV for malignancy was significantly (p < 0.0001) dependent on BI-RADS classification. The sensitivity of ce MRI for breast cancer detection was 97.3% (36/37), whereas specificity was 55% (11/20). If ce MRI was combined with alpha0, the diagnostic accuracy could be significantly increased (p < 0.05; AUC(ce MRI) = 0.93, AUC(combined) = 0.96).

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, the combination of MRE and ce MRI could increase the diagnostic performance of breast MRI. Further investigations of larger cohorts and smaller lesions (in particular those only visible on MRI) are necessary to validate these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-325
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Contrast Media
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


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