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Washout of Mass-Like Benign Breast Lesions at Dynamic Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Tannaphai, Penampai MD*†; Trimboli, Rubina Manuela MD; Carbonaro, Luca Alessandro MD*; Viganò, Sara MD; Di Leo, Giovanni DrSci*; Sardanelli, Francesco MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: May/June 2012 - Volume 36 - Issue 3 - p 301–305
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3182506c48
Breast Imaging

Objective: This study aimed to estimate the frequency and timing of washout in a series of pathologically proven benign mass-like breast lesions at dynamic magnetic resonance imaging.

Methods: Institutional review board approval was obtained for this retrospective study. We evaluated enhancement kinetics of 33 pathologically confirmed benign breast lesions: fibroadenomas (n = 22), adenosis (n = 6), typical ductal hyperplasia (n = 2), fibroadenoma with ductal hyperplasia (n = 1), fibrosclerosis (n = 1), and inflammatory lesion (n = 1). Coronal 3-dimensional T1-weighted gradient-echo sequences were acquired before/after intravenous injection of 0.1 mmol/ kg gadoterate meglumine (time resolution, 111 seconds), 1 before and 5 after contrast injection. The time point at which the kinetic curve demonstrated a washout was recorded. Cumulative distribution of lesions showing washout was built. Paired comparisons of specificity for washout kinetics were performed using the McNemar test.

Results: Of 33 lesions, washout was never observed in 20 (61%), whereas 13 (39%) showed washout during the study. Of these 13 lesions, only 1 (inflammatory mass) exhibited washout within the first 3 minutes (specificity, 97%), 9 within 6 minutes (specificity, 73%), and 13 within 8 minutes (specificity, 61%). Specificity of washout kinetics within 3 minutes (97%) was significantly larger than that from the sixth minute (73%) and thereafter (P < 0.016).

Conclusions: A prolonged observation for dynamic breast magnetic resonance imaging may result in false-positive washout, especially after 6 minutes. Late washout should not be considered a reliable marker of malignancy.

From the *Unità di Radiologia, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Milan, Italy; †Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; ‡Scuola di Specializzazione in Radiodiagnostica, Università degli Studi di Milano; and §Dipartimento di Scienze Medico-Chirurgiche, Università degli Studi di Milano, San Donato Milanese, Milan, Italy.

Received for publication November 26, 2011; accepted February 15, 2012.

Reprints: Francesco Sardanelli, MD, Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Scienze Medico-chirurgiche, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, Unità di Radiologia, Piazza E. Malan 2, 20097 San Donato Milanese, Milan, Italy (e-mail:

Dr Sardanelli has received research grants from and is a member of the speakers’ bureaus for Bracco Group and Bayer Pharma. The other authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.