Clinical Edge

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Extra-mammary Findings on Breast MRI

A cause for concern?

A small portion of extra-mammary findings (EMFs) on breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed subclinical advanced breast cancer while most were benign and did not impact patient outcome with regard to upstaging to stage IV disease or time to cancer treatment, in a study of 1,305 breast MRIs in 772 women. Results of the study found:

• An EMF was found in 14.6% of women and 10.7% of studies.

• EMFs were more likely in MRIs of older patients (50 vs 54 years) and post-menopausal women.

• Most EMFs were observed in the liver or bone.

• 0.6% of women had an EMF on breast MRI that led to upstaging to state IV breast cancer.

• For patients with stage I-III breast cancer, finding of an EMF on breast MRI did not affect time to initial cancer treatment (13 vs 14 days).

Citation: Phadke S, Alexandra T, Yang L, Moore C, Xia C, Schroeder MC. Frequency and clinical significance of extra-mammary findings on breast magnetic resonance imaging. Clinical Breast Cancer. [Published online ahead of print August 26, 2015]. doi:10.1016/j.clbc.2015.08.003.