In high-risk women, abbreviated breast MRI protocols require shorter interpretation times while maintaining similar cancer detection rates compared to full-sequence magnetic resonance imaging, according to a recent analysis.
Standard MRI beats out most other modalities at detecting breast cancer, yet its nearly one-hour imaging time can make exams difficult for many patients, experts wrote in the March/April issue of the Journal of Breast Imaging. Such scans also produce thousands of images that need to be read.
Comparing both protocol types among more than 280 women at high risk for breast cancer, each detected all cancers with an equal recall rate. Using abbreviated MRI (abMRI), however, saved nearly 40 seconds per patient.
Extrapolated over a larger patient population and more exams, abMRI could significantly improve breast cancer screenings and may even lower costs, the authors noted.
“The abMRI has the ability to shorten the imaging protocol and thereby decrease the time for the examination, which may substantially and positively affect the availability of MRI for surveillance, as well as improving the patient experience during the examination,” Kendrah V. Osei, BS, of the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., and colleagues explained.