Diagnostic performance of breast magnetic resonance imaging in non-calcified equivocal breast findings: Results from a systematic review and meta-analysis

Barbara Bennani-Baiti, Nabila Bennani, Pascal A. Baltzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


Objectives: To evaluate the performance of MRI for diagnosis of breast cancer in non-calcified equivocal breast findings. Materials and Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of peer-reviewed studies in PubMed from 01/01/1986 until 06/15/2015. Eligible were studies applying dynamic contrast-enhanced breast MRI as an adjunct to conventional imaging (mammography, ultrasound) to clarify equivocal findings without microcalcifications. Reference standard for MRI findings had to be established by histopathological sampling or imaging follow-up of at least 12 months. Number of true or false positives and negatives and other characteristics were extracted, and possible bias was determined using the QUADAS-2 applet. Statistical analyses included data pooling and heterogeneity testing. Results: Fourteen out of 514 studies comprising 2,316 lesions met our inclusion criteria. Pooled diagnostic parameters were: sensitivity (99%, 95%-CI: 93-100%), specificity (89%, 95%-CI: 85-92%), PPV (56%, 95%-CI: 42-70%) and NPV (100%, 95%-CI: 99-100%). These estimates displayed significant heterogeneity (P<0.001). Conclusions: Breast MRI demonstrates an excellent diagnostic performance in case of non-calcified equivocal breast findings detected in conventional imaging. However, considering the substantial heterogeneity with regard to prevalence of malignancy, problem solving criteria need to be better defined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0160346
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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