An imaging protocol for dynamic contrast-enhanced breast MRI with 3.0t: Using sagittal sequence interleaved between axial sequences

Ji Eun Park, Jee Eun Lee, Ji Young Hwang, Eun Suk Cha

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Background: B1 transmission-field inhomogeneity has been reported at 3.0 Tesla (T) breast imaging. Enhancement measurements of breast cancers at 3.0T may be insufficient for some patients and improvements in imaging protocols are needed. Purpose: To quantify B1 inhomogeneities in normal tissue and malignant masses at 3.0T breast MR imaging and to evaluate effect of an imaging protocol using an interleaved sagittal sequence in dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI). Material and Methods: A total of 76 patients were included who underwent DCE-MRI of the breast at 3.0T with an imaging protocol consisting of 1st, 2nd, and 4-6th bilateral axial sequences, and 3rd and 7th unilateral sagittal sequences. Signal intensity (SI) of normal breast tissue was measured at nipple level in four bilateral locations (anterior, posterior, medial, and lateral). Mean whole breast and location specific SI were calculated and compared between right and left breast using a paired t-test. All malignant masses were classified into three groups according to tumor size on MRI (≤2 cm, 2-4 cm, > 4 cm). SI of malignant masses was measured independently on axial and sagittal sequences. The axial-sagittal SI gap in each mass was calculated and difference between right and left breast was compared using the t test. Size of each malignant mass was compared with pathologic findings to assess performance of the imaging protocol. Results: SI of normal breast tissue were lower for the right breast (R-L difference, 291.9; P < 0.0001) and in all four locations (anterior, P < 0.01; posterior, P, 0.01; medial, P, 0.0001; lateral, P <0.0001). SI of malignant masses were lower for the right breast among same size of the lesions (P < 0.0001), particularly < 4 cm (P < 0.0001). Decreased right to left difference in SI was produced with an interleaved sagittal sequence, as axial-sagittal gap of malignant masses was significant when tumor locates on the right side (P < 0.001). The concordance rate in predicting size of mass in this imaging protocol was 92.2%. Conclusion: The interleaved sagittal sequence is helpful to adjust reduced SI of malignant masses on right breast at 3.0T. This imaging protocol is clinically applicable by adding a single sequence during DCE-MRI of the breast.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-613
Number of pages6
JournalActa Radiologica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • 3.0T MRI
  • Breast cancer
  • Dynamic enhancement
  • Interleaved sagittal
  • Protocol


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