Korean J Radiol. 2022 Sep 16. doi: 10.3348/kjr.2021.0967. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To compare digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) and MRI as an adjunct to full-field digital mammography (FFDM) for the preoperative evaluation of women with breast cancer based on mammographic density.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study enrolled 280 patients with breast cancer who had undergone FFDM, DBT, and MRI for preoperative local tumor staging. Three radiologists independently sought the index cancer and additional ipsilateral and contralateral breast cancers using either FFDM alone, DBT plus FFDM, or MRI plus FFDM. Diagnostic performances across the three radiologists were compared among the reading modes in all patients and subgroups with dense (n = 186) and non-dense breasts (n = 94) according to mammographic density.
RESULTS: Of 280 patients, 46 (16.4%) had 48 additional (39 ipsilateral and nine contralateral) cancers in addition to the index cancer. For index cancers, both DBT plus FFDM and MRI plus FFDM showed sensitivities of 100% in the non-dense group. In the dense group, DBT plus FFDM showed lower sensitivity than that of MRI plus FFDM (94.6% vs. 99.6%, p < 0.001). For additional ipsilateral cancers, DBT plus FFDM showed specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) of 100% in the non-dense group, but sensitivity and negative predictive value (NPV) were not statistically different from those of MRI plus FFDM (p > 0.05). In the dense group, DBT plus FFDM showed higher specificity (98.2% vs. 94.1%, p = 0.005) and PPV (83.1% vs. 65.4%; p = 0.036) than those of MRI plus FFDM, but lower sensitivity (59.9% vs. 75.3%; p = 0.049). For contralateral cancers, DBT plus FFDM showed higher specificity than that of MRI plus FFDM (99.0% vs. 96.7%, p = 0.014), however, the other values did not differ (all p > 0.05) in the dense group.
CONCLUSION: DBT plus FFDM showed an overall higher specificity than that of MRI plus FFDM regardless of breast density, perhaps without substantial loss in sensitivity and NPV in the diagnosis of additional cancers. Thus, DBT may have the potential to be used as a preoperative breast cancer staging tool.