Does the use of pretreatment MRI change the management of patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer?

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Breast MRI plays a critical role in the diagnosis and management of breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of preoperative breast MRI on the management of a large cohort of breast cancer patients at our institution. This study is a retrospective chart review of all newly diagnosed breast cancer patients who underwent preoperative breast MRI at our institution between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2009. 1352 patients comprised the study population. 241 (17.8%) patients underwent a change in surgical management as a result of preoperative MRI. Patients with tumors in the lower inner quadrant and the central breast and those with pathology of invasive lobular carcinoma were significantly more likely to have their management changed by preoperative MRI. There was also a significant trend for larger tumors to be associated with a change in surgical management. No statistically significant association was found between breast density and change in management. This study supports the recommendation for the use of preoperative breast MRI in the majority of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, especially those with larger tumors, pathology of invasive lobular carcinoma, and tumors in the lower inner quadrant. Preoperative breast MRI is a useful tool for the evaluation of additional disease that led to a change in the surgical management of 17.8% of patients.