Korean J Radiol.  2017 Feb;18(1):238-248. 10.3348/kjr.2017.18.1.238.

Estimation of T2* Relaxation Time of Breast Cancer: Correlation with Clinical, Imaging and Pathological Features

  • 1Department of Radiology, Kyung Hee University Hospital, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Korea.
  • 2Department of Radiology, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 05278, Korea. oddie2@naver.com
  • 3Department of Pathology, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 05278, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to estimate the T2* relaxation time in breast cancer, and to evaluate the association between the T2* value with clinical-imaging-pathological features of breast cancer.
Between January 2011 and July 2013, 107 consecutive women with 107 breast cancers underwent multi-echo T2*-weighted imaging on a 3T clinical magnetic resonance imaging system. The Student's t test and one-way analysis of variance were used to compare the T2* values of cancer for different groups, based on the clinical-imaging-pathological features. In addition, multiple linear regression analysis was performed to find independent predictive factors associated with the T2* values.
Of the 107 breast cancers, 92 were invasive and 15 were ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The mean T2* value of invasive cancers was significantly longer than that of DCIS (p = 0.029). Signal intensity on T2-weighted imaging (T2WI) and histologic grade of invasive breast cancers showed significant correlation with T2* relaxation time in univariate and multivariate analysis. Breast cancer groups with higher signal intensity on T2WI showed longer T2* relaxation time (p = 0.005). Cancer groups with higher histologic grade showed longer T2* relaxation time (p = 0.017).
The T2* value is significantly longer in invasive cancer than in DCIS. In invasive cancers, T2* relaxation time is significantly longer in higher histologic grades and high signal intensity on T2WI. Based on these preliminary data, quantitative T2* mapping has the potential to be useful in the characterization of breast cancer.


Breast cancer; T2*; Relaxation time; Susceptibility; Breast; Magnetic resonance imaging
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