J Korean Radiol Soc.  2005 Aug;53(2):137-143. 10.3348/jkrs.2005.53.2.137.

Usefulness of Preoperative Chest Multidetector CT for Evaluation of Breast Cancer: Comparison with Breast MRI

  • 1Department of Radiology, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Korea. kdhoon@chosun.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Radiology, Chosun University Hospital, Korea.
  • 3Department of General Surgery, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Korea.


To evaluate the efficacy of chest multidetector-row helical computed tomography (MDCT) in detecting breast cancer in preoperative metastasis work-ups and to assess the accuracy of MDCT compared with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
MDCT were performed on 69 consecutive patients with 94 lesions of histologically proven breast cancer. Retrospectively, two radiologists performed a blind review of the MDCT images for margin, shape, mass enhancement pattern and the enhancing distribution of non-mass lesions with consensus. CT attenuation values were measured in the average HU on pre-enhancing and enhanced CT in gland, fat, muscle, and in masses with the largest region of interest (ROI). MDCT findings were analyzed and compared with breast MRI.
Of the 91 breast lesions detected on MDCT, 64 were mass lesions and 24 were non-mass lesions on enhancement, 86 lesions were malignant and 5 were benign. Three pathologically proven malignant masses were not detected on MDCT. Positive predictive value, false positive rate and false negative rate were 94.5%, 5.3%, 3.2% respectively. The highly predictive features for malignancy were a spiculated or irregular margin, an irregular or round shape, and a heterogeneously or rim enhanced mass. Another highly predictive feature for malignancy was linear or segmentally distributed enhancing non-mass lesions. The CT values of masses in pre-enhanced scans were 38.6+/-7.9 HU; these values increased to 110.9+/-26.6 HU after contrast injection (90 sec). The attenuation values from enhancing CT of malignant lesions were significantly higher than those of non-enhancing lesions. The depiction of enhancing masses on MDCT compared with MR imaging were 88.6%. The extension of malignancy were equally well correlated MDCT with MR imaging.
The diagnostic value of chest MDCT for preoperative staging is comparable with MR imaging for the detection and extension of lesions. Therefore, chest MDCT of breast cancer can add to the information obtained from mammography or ultrasonography and is a useful method of preoperative assessment for cancer staging and limitational condition of MR imaging.


Breast cancer; Computed tomography (CT); Magnetic resonance (MR)

MeSH Terms

Breast Neoplasms*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
Neoplasm Metastasis
Neoplasm Staging
Retrospective Studies
Tomography, Spiral Computed
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