Good results for contrast-enhanced digital mammography

Volume 7, Issue 1, 2018


This imaging procedure may be a faster, more accessible and less costly option than breast MRI.

Bhavika Patel, M.D.

Bhavika Patel, M.D.

Contrast-enhanced digital mammography is comparable to breast MRI in evaluating residual breast cancer after neoadjuvant endocrine therapy or chemotherapy, according to the results of a new study by Mayo Clinic researchers.

"Our study aimed to compare contrast-enhanced mammography with breast MRI in evaluating residual breast cancer in patients undergoing pre-surgical systemic treatment to shrink their tumor size," said Bhavika Patel, M.D., a radiologist at Mayo Clinic's campus in Phoenix, Arizona. "We identified patients who had both contrast-enhanced digital mammography and MRI after treatment to shrink their tumors and before additional therapy or a mastectomy."

Dr. Patel and her colleagues conducted a retrospective review of contrast-enhanced digital mammography cases at the Phoenix campus between September 2014 and June 2016. Forty female patients met inclusion criteria for the study. The mean age of study participants was 52.3 years. Thirty-four patients received chemotherapy and six patients received endocrine therapy for breast cancer.

The researchers interpreted radiographic images in a blinded fashion and compared residual size on imaging to pathology from surgical samples. Their results indicated that both imaging modalities demonstrate comparable accuracy in assessing residual cancer.

"These findings, if validated in larger studies, could potentially support the use of contrast-enhanced mammography as an alternative approach for evaluating residual cancer in the preoperative setting," Dr. Patel said.

Contrast-enhanced digital mammography is a potentially easier, faster, more accessible and more cost-effective option than is breast MRI, Dr. Patel said. Some patients also feel less claustrophobic than they would with a breast MRI, she said.