Relationship between DCE-MRI morphological and functional features and histopathological characteristics of breast cancer

Filippo Montemurro, Laura Martincich, Ivana Sarotto, Ilaria Bertotto, Riccardo Ponzone, Lisa Cellini, Stefania Redana, Piero Sismondi, Massimo Aglietta, Daniele Regge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied whether dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) could identify histopathological characteristics of breast cancer. Seventy-five patients with breast cancer underwent DCE-MRI followed by core biopsy. DCE-MRI findings were evaluated following the scoring system published by Fischer in 1999. In this scoring system, five DCE-MRI features, three morphological (shape, margins, enhancement kinetic) and two functional (initial peak of signal intensity (SI) increase and behavior of signal intensity curve), are defined by 14 parameters. Each parameter is assigned points ranging from 0 to 1 or 0 to 2, with higher points for those that are more likely to be associated with malignancy. The sum of all the points defines the degree of suspicion of malignancy, with a score 0 representing the lowest and 8 the highest degree of suspicion. Associations between DCE-MRI features and tumor histopathological characteristics assessed on core biopsies (histological type, grading, estrogen and progesterone receptor status, Ki67 and HER2 status) were studied by contingency tables and logistic regression analysis. We found a significant inverse association between the Fischer's score and HER2-overexpression (odds ratio-OR 0.608, p = 0.02). Based on our results, we suggest that lesions with intermediate-low suspicious DCE-MRI parameters may represent a subset of tumor with poor histopathological characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1490-1497
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Contrast media
  • HER2
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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