The effects of applying breast compression in dynamic contrast material-enhanced MR imaging

Riham H. El Khouli, Katarzyna J. Macura, Ihab R. Kamel, David A. Bluemke, Michael A. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the effects of breast compression on breast cancer masses, contrast material enhancement of glandular tissue, and quality of magnetic resonance (MR) images in the identification and characterization of breast lesions. Materials and Methods: This was a HIPAA-compliant, institutional review board-approved retrospective study, with waiver of informed consent. Images from 300 MR imaging examinations in 149 women (mean age ± standard deviation, 51.5 years ± 10.9; age range, 22-76 years) were evaluated. The women underwent diagnostic MR imaging (no compression) and MR-guided biopsy (with compression) between June 2008 and February 2013. Breast compression was expressed as a percentage relative to the noncompressed breast. Percentage enhancement difference was calculated between noncompressed- and compressed-breast images obtained in early and delayed contrast-enhanced phases. Breast density, lesion type (mass vs non-masslike enhancement [NMLE]), lesion size, percentage compression, and kinetic curve type were evaluated. Linear regression, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, and κ test were performed. Results: Mean percentage compression was 31.3% ± 9.2 (range, 5.8%-53.2%). Percentage enhancement was higher in noncompressed-versus compressed-breast studies in early (146% ± 66 vs 107% ± 42, respectively; P < .001) and delayed (158% ± 68 vs 107% ± 42, respectively; P = .1) phases. Among breast lesions, 12% (seven of 59) were significantly smaller when compressed, which led to underestimation of TNM classification (P < .001). Breast masses (n = 35) showed significantly higher early percentage enhancement (157% ± 71) than lesions with NMLE (n = 15, 120% ± 40; P = .02) and a percentage enhancement difference (47.5% ± 64 vs 17% ± 28, respectively; P = .023). Kinetic curve performance for identifying invasive cancer decreased after compression (area under ROC curve = 0.53 vs 0.71, respectively; P = .02). Breast compression resulted in complete loss of enhancement of nine of 210 lesions (4%). Conclusion: Breast compression during biopsy affected breast lesion detection, lesion size, and dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging interpretation and performance. Limiting the application of breast compression is recommended, except when clinically necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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