Following surgery, the researchers compared the actual appearance of the cancer to the original mammogram or ultrasound and also to the MRI. The change in surgical management was considered beneficial if pathological findings matched the MRI more closely than they matched mammography or ultrasonography. "Of the 36 women who had a change in surgical management based on MRI findings, 15 were found to have a beneficial change when MRI findings were confirmed on the final pathologic report," the authors write. The change was determined to be beneficial in eight women whose lumpectomy was converted to a mastectomy, 10 patients who received a larger lumpectomy and two patients who had surgery on both breasts.
"Additional malignancies are uncovered in one patient for every 10 who undergo MRI," the authors conclude. "These data suggest that breast MRI may have a role in the staging evaluation of newly diagnosed breast cancers."