Proton MR spectroscopy with choline peak as malignancy marker improves positive predictive value for breast cancer diagnosis: Preliminary study

Lia Bartella, Elizabeth A. Morris, D. David Dershaw, Laura Liberman, Sunitha B. Thakur, Chaya Moskowitz, Jennifer Guido, Wei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

162 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To prospectively evaluate the diagnostic performance of magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy in patients with suspicious lesions or biopsy-proved cancers at MR imaging by using histologic findings as the reference standard. After institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained for this HIPAA-compliant study, breast MR spectroscopy was performed in patients with suspicious or biopsy-proved malignant lesions measuring 1 cm or larger at MR imaging. Single-voxel MR spectroscopy data were collected from a single rectangular volume of interest that encompassed the lesion. MR spectroscopy findings were defined as positive if the signal-to-noise ratio of the choline resonance peak was greater than or equal to 2 and as negative in all other cases. MR spectroscopy findings were then compared with histologic findings. Results: A total of 56 Patients (age range, 20-77 years) with 57 lesions were imaged. The median lesion size at MR imaging was 2.3 cm (range, 1-15 cm). Histologically, 31 (54%) of 57 lesions were malignant, and 26 (46%) were benign. A choline peak was present in 34 of 57 lesions (including all cancers) and in three of 26 benign lesions, giving MR spectroscopy a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 88%. In 40 lesions of unknown histologic type, the use of MR spectroscopy as an adjunct to MR imaging would have significantly (P < .01) increased the positive predictive value of biopsy from 35% to 82%. If biopsy had been performed only on those lesions with a choline peak at MR spectroscopy, biopsy may have been spared in 23 (58%) of 40 lesions, and none of the cancers would have been missed. Conclusion: Proton MR spectroscopy was successfully incorporated into breast MR imaging studies for lesions measuring 1 cm or larger. This technique may be useful in reducing the number of lesions detected at MR imaging that require biopsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-692
Number of pages7
JournalRADIOLOGY
Volume239
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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