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BMC medical imaging

Correlation between the area of high-signal intensity on SPIO-enhanced MR imaging and the pathologic size of sentinel node metastases in breast cancer patients with positive sentinel nodes.


PMID 24028426

Abstract

We previously demonstrated that superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)-enhanced MR imaging is promising for the detection of metastases in sentinel nodes localized by CT-lymphography in patients with breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to determine the predictive criteria of the size of nodal metastases with SPIO-enhanced MR imaging in breast cancer, with histopathologic findings as reference standard. This study included 150 patients with breast cancer. The patterns of SPIO uptake for positive sentinel nodes were classified into three; uniform high-signal intensity, partial high-signal intensity involving ≥50% of the node, and partial high-signal intensity involving <50% of the node. Imaging results were correlated with histopathologic findings. Thirty-three pathologically positive sentinel nodes from 30 patients were evaluated. High-signal intensity patterns that were uniform or involved ≥50% of the node were observed in 23 nodes that contained macro-metastases and no node that contained micro-metastases, while high-signal intensity patterns involving <50% of the node were observed in 2 nodes that contained macro-metastases and 8 nodes that contained micro-metastases. When the area of high-signal intensity was compared with the pathological size of the metastases, a pathologic >2 mm sentinel node metastases correlated with the area of high-signal intensity, however, a pathologic ≤2 mm sentinel node metastases did not. High-signal intensity patterns that are uniform or involve ≥50% of the node are features of nodes with macro-metastases. The area of high-signal intensity correlated with the pathological size of metastases for nodes with metastases >2 mm in this series.