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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

PB.27. Breast screening with MRI in high-risk women

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Breast Cancer Research201416 (Suppl 1) :P17

  • Published:


  • Ductal Carcinoma
  • Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
  • Recall Rate
  • Digital Mammography
  • Prophylactic Mastectomy


This study evaluates the use of annual breast MRI surveillance for high-risk women, evaluating the recall rate for further imaging, biopsy and cancer detection rate. We have used breast MRI for surveillance of high-risk women since 2008.


High-risk women identified by the Regional Genetic Service between 2008 and 2013 underwent annual breast MRI (1.5 T), in some cases in conjunction with digital mammography. This included those with a genetic predisposition of breast cancer (TP53, BRCA-1, BRCA-2) or equivalent high risk and previous thoracic radiotherapy. Women were offered MRI screening between the ages of 20 and 50.


Over 6 years, 184 women underwent 477 screening MRIs. There were 44 lesions recalled for second-look ultrasound in 39 women. Twenty-seven lesions had a core biopsy, from which 10 malignant lesions were identified. Nine of these were invasive ductal carcinoma, of which all were either grade 2 or 3, varying in size from 4 to 34 mm. One case of ductal carcinoma in situ was identified. The remaining 17 lesions were benign. Women who had a normal ultrasound either had an interval MRI after 6 months or were returned to routine yearly screen.


MRI screening of high-risk women is effective, with a cancer detection rate of 2.1% and a recall rate of 9.2% which are within the standards set by UK national guidelines. There has been one false negative screen to date. Breast MRI screening provides a viable alternative to prophylactic mastectomy for women at high risk of breast cancer.

Authors’ Affiliations

Breast Screening and Assessment Unit, Newcastle, UK


© Howarth et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.