A study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology says that MRI is more accurate than multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in diagnosing the spread of breast cancer.
Japanese researchers used MRI and MDCT on 69 patients to examine the efficiency of both tests. MRI was correctly able to diagnose 33 of the 44 cases, while MDCT correctly diagnosed 27. "MRI revealed the presence of the intraductal component with significantly higher sensitivity (75 percent) compared to MDCT (61 percent)," said lead researcher Dr. Akiko Shimauchi, of Tohoku University. "The lesions that were missed by both examinations were the ductal extension type, i.e. the tumor included a dominant mass with an outward extension of cancer cells, with a relatively small ductal component."
MRI was able to detect even minute spread in certain cases, she added. "Accurate preoperative diagnosis of the intraductal component allows the surgeon to achieve a cancer-free surgical margin."