Diagnostic efficacy of contrast-enhanced breast MRI versus X-ray mammography in women with different degrees of breast density

Jörg Barkhausen, Arpad Bischof, Daniel Haverstock, Mark Klemens, Guenther Brueggenwerth, Olaf Weber, Jan Endrikat*

*Corresponding author for this work


Background: Detection of breast cancer in women with high breast densities is a clinical challenge. Purpose: To study the influence of different degrees of breast density on the sensitivity of contrast-enhanced breast magnetic resonance imaging (CE-BMRI) versus X-ray mammography (XRM). Material and Methods: We performed an additional analysis of two large Phase III clinical trials (G1; G2) which included women with histologically proven breast cancers, called “index cancers.” Additional cancers were detected during image reading. We compared the sensitivity of CE-BMRI and XRM in women with different breast densities (ACR A→D; Version 5). For each study, six blinded readers evaluated the images. Results are given as the “Median Reader.” Results: A total of 774 patients were included, 169 had additional cancers. While sensitivity of CE-BMRI for detecting all index cancers was independent of breast density (ACR A→D) (G1: 83%→83%; G2: 91%→91%) the sensitivity of XRM declined (ACR A→D) (G1: 79%→62%; G2: 82%→64%). Thus, the sensitivity difference between both imaging modalities in ACR A breasts of 3% (G1) and 9% (G2) increased to 21% (G1) and 26% (G2) in ACR D breasts. Sensitivity of CE-BMRI for detecting at least one additional cancer increased with increasing breast density (ACR A→D) (G1: 50%→73%, G2: 57%→81%). XRM’s sensitivity decreased (G1: 34%→20%) or remained stable (G2: 24%→25%). Conclusion: CE-BMRI showed significantly higher sensitivity compared to XRM.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Radiologica
Publication statusPublished - 17.07.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering
  • Centers: University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-30 Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy and Radiobiology
  • 205-14 Haematology, Oncology


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