BACKGROUND: To assess the feasibility, image quality and diagnostic value of contrast-enhanced breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed in a supine compared to a prone position.
METHODS: One hundred and fifty-one patients who had undergone a breast MRI in both the standard prone and supine position were evaluated retrospectively. Two 1.5 T MR scanners were used with the same image resolution, sequences and contrast medium in all examinations. The image quality and the number and dimensions of lesions were assessed by two expert radiologists in an independent and randomized fashion. Two different classification systems were used. Histopathology was the standard of reference.
RESULTS: Two hundred and forty MRIs from 120 patients were compared. The analysis revealed 134 MRIs with monofocal (U), 68 with multifocal (M) and 38 with multicentric (C) lesions. There was no difference between the image quality and number of lesions in the prone and supine examinations. A significant difference in the lesion extension was observed between the prone and supine position. No significant differences emerged in the classification of the lesions detected in the prone compared to the supine position.
CONCLUSIONS: It is possible to perform breast MRI in a supine position with the same image quality, resolution and diagnostic value as in a prone position. In the prone position, the lesion dimensions are overestimated with a higher wash-in peak than in the supine position.