Is there concordance of invasive breast cancer pathologic tumor size with magnetic resonance imaging?

Gwen M. Grimsby, Richard Gray, Amylou Dueck, Susanne Carpenter, Chee Chee Stucky, Heidi Aspey, Marina E. Giurescu, Barbara Pockaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Background: In the era of breast conservation therapy, preoperative imaging is imperative in planning a single definitive surgical treatment. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of a prospectively collected database of patients treated at a single institution for invasive breast cancer over 5 years. Clinical and pathologic variables were analyzed with respect to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and pathologic tumor size using analysis of variance F tests and chi-square tests. Results: Of 190 patients, 53% had concordance of MRI and pathologic cancer size within .5 cm. MRI overestimated 33% and underestimated 15% of tumors. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy and lymph node status were associated with discordance. Among tumors overestimated by MRI, 65% had additional significant findings in the breast tissue around the main lesion: satellite lesions, ductal carcinoma in situ, and/or lymphovascular invasion. Conclusions: Breast MRI is concordant with pathologic tumor size within .5 cm among 53% of patients. Most patients with tumors overestimated by MRI have significant findings in the surrounding breast tissue, the excision of which would be expected to benefit the patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-504
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009


  • Invasive breast cancer
  • MRI
  • Pathology
  • Tumor size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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