Magnetic resonance imaging for axillary staging in patients with breast cancer

Academic Article


  • Purpose: To determine the utility of MRI for assessing axillary lymph node status in patients with breast cancer. Materials and Methods: A consecutive series of patients who underwent breast MR before surgical management of breast cancer with axillary sampling between 2005 and 2007 were identified. MRs were evaluated for the number of nodes, contrast kinetics, nodal area, and number of nodes with no fatty hilum. Data were analyzed in the context of final breast pathology, sentinel lymph node status, and axillary nodal status. Correlations were analyzed using Kendall's τ-b test. Reported P values are one-sided. Results: Fifty-six females (median = 58 years) were studied. Sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) were positive in 15/56 patients (27%). All SLN + patients (n = 15) had completion axillary dissection. Extent of nodal disease was 1 (n = 3), 2 (n = 4), >2 (n = 8). Presence of any axillary lymph node with no fatty hilum and the number of nodes with no fatty hilum on MR significantly correlated with pathologic node positivity (P = 0.04); while kinetics, node number, and node size did not correlate. Conclusion: Breast MR may be useful in the assessment of axillary nodes in patients with breast cancer. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mortellaro VE; Marshall J; Singer L; Hochwald SN; Chang M; Copeland EM; Grobmyer SR
  • Start Page

  • 309
  • End Page

  • 312
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 2