Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) surveillance in breast cancer survivors

Chana Weinstock, Cristina Campassi, Olga Goloubeva, Kathleen Wooten, Susan Kesmodel, Emily Bellevance, Steven Feigenberg, Olga Ioffe, Katherine H.R. Tkaczuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Purpose: As the breast cancer survivor population increases, the topic of screening these women for recurrences is increasingly relevant. In our institution, we use both breast MRI and mammography in the surveillance of breast cancer survivors, although little data exists on the use of MRI in this setting. We present a retrospective analysis of our experience and compare the sensitivity and specificity of MRI vs. mammography in this setting. Methods: We identified women under 65 with a history of breast cancer and at least one follow-up MRI performed along with a mammogram done within 6 months of the MRI. We compared the outcomes of MRI and mammography in terms of biopsies performed as well as in detection of new cancers. Results: Of 617 charts reviewed, 249 patients met inclusion criteria, with 571 paired MRI/mammogram results. There were 27 biopsies performed due to MRI findings alone, 10 done due to mammographic findings alone, and 15 done based on abnormalities seen on both imaging modalities. There were 8 malignancies identified based on an abnormal MRI, 3 detected on both MRI and mammography, and none identified via mammography alone. Overall, MRI had a sensitivity of 84.6% (the 95% CI 54.6–98.1) and a specificity of 95.3% (the 95% CI 93.3–96.9); mammography a sensitivity of 23.1% (the 95% CI 5.0–53.8), and a specificity of 96.4% (the 95% CI 94.5–97.8). Conclusions: Breast MRI is a useful surveillance modality in breast cancer survivors and may be more sensitive at detecting recurrences than mammography alone in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number459
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilateral
  • Breast cancer
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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