Pathologic Findings of Breast Lesions Detected on Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Seema B. Jabbar, Beverly Lynch, Stephen Seiler, Helena Hwang, Sunati Sahoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is now used routinely for high-risk screening and in the evaluation of the extent of disease in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. Morphologic characteristics and the kinetic pattern largely determine how suspicious a breast lesion is on MRI. Because of its high sensitivity, MRI identifies a large number of suspicious lesions. However, the low to moderate specificity and the additional cost have raised questions regarding its frequent use. Objectives.-To identify the pathologic entities that frequently present as suspicious enhancing lesions and to identify specific MRI characteristics that may be predictive of malignancy. Design.-One hundred seventy-seven MRI-guided biopsies from 152 patients were included in the study. The indication for MRI, MRI features, pathologic findings, and patient demographics were recorded. The MRI findings and the pathology slides were reviewed by a dedicated breast radiologist and breast pathologists. Results.-Seventy-one percent (126 of 177) of MRIguided breast biopsies were benign, 11% (20 of 177) showed epithelial atypia, and 18% (31 of 177) showed malignancy. The vast majority (84%; 62 of 74) of MRI lesions with persistent kinetics were benign. However, 57% (17 of 30) of lesions with washout kinetics and 65% (62 of 95) of mass lesions were also benign. Conclusions.-Magnetic resonance imaging detects malignancies undetected by other imaging modalities but also detects a wide variety of benign lesions. Benign and malignant lesions identified by MRI share similar morphologic and kinetic features, necessitating biopsy for histologic confirmation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1513-1522
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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