Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 126, Issue 2, pp 273–285 | Cite as

Accuracy of magnetic resonance in suspicious breast lesions: a systematic quantitative review and meta-analysis

  • Lidia Rosi Medeiros
  • Célia Scapin Duarte
  • Daniela Dornelles Rosa
  • Maria Isabel Edelweiss
  • Marcia Edelweiss
  • Fábio Rosa Silva
  • Erik Paul Winnnikow
  • Patrícia Duarte Simões Pires
  • Maria Inês Rosa


Dynamic contrast-enhanced breast magnetic resonance (MR) is a promising emerging technique for evaluating breast lesions. A quantitative systematic review was performed to estimate the accuracy of breast MR in the diagnosis of high-risk breast lesions and breast cancer. A comprehensive search of the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, CANCERLIT, LILACS, and EMBASE databases was performed from January 1985 to August 2010. The medical subjects heading (MeSH) and text words for the terms “breast neoplasm”, “breast lesions”, “breast cancer” and “magnetic resonance” were combined with the MeSH term diagnosis (“sensitivity and specificity”). Studies that compared breast MR with paraffin-embedded sections parameters for the diagnosis of breast lesions (benign, high-risk borderline, and breast cancer) were included. Sixty-nine studies were analyzed, which included 9,298 women with 9,884 breast lesions. Interrater overall agreement between breast MR and paraffin section diagnosis was 79% (κ = 0.55), indicating moderate agreement. Pooled sensitivity and specificity were 90% [95% CI 88–92%] and 75% [95% CI 70–79%], respectively. The pooled likelihood positive ratio was 3.64 (95% CI 3.0–4.2) and the negative ratio was 0.12 (95% CI 0.09–0.15). For breast cancer or high-risk lesions versus benign lesions, the AUC was 0.91 for breast MR and the point Q* was 0.84. In summary, breast MR is a useful pre-operative test for predicting the diagnosis of breast lesions.


Magnetic resonance mammography Breast magnetic resonance MRI Systematic review Meta-analysis Breast cancer Diagnosis Sensitivity Specificity ROC 



Authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support received from the University of Extremo Sul Catarinense.

Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lidia Rosi Medeiros
    • 1
  • Célia Scapin Duarte
    • 2
    • 3
  • Daniela Dornelles Rosa
    • 1
    • 4
  • Maria Isabel Edelweiss
    • 1
    • 5
  • Marcia Edelweiss
    • 6
  • Fábio Rosa Silva
    • 2
  • Erik Paul Winnnikow
    • 2
    • 3
  • Patrícia Duarte Simões Pires
    • 2
    • 3
  • Maria Inês Rosa
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Postgraduate Program in MedicineMedical Sciences at Federal University of Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratory of Epidemiology and National Institute for Translational Medicine Health Sciences UnitUniversity of Extremo Sul Catarinense (UNESC)CriciúmaBrazil
  3. 3.Postgraduate Program in Health SciencesUNESCCriciúmaBrazil
  4. 4.Oncology Unit, Hospital FêminaGrupo Hospitalar ConceiçãoPorto AlegreBrazil
  5. 5.Pathology Unit of Hospital de Clinicas de Porto AlegrePorto AlegreBrazil
  6. 6.Department of PathologyMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA

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