Purpose: To compare magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US) for axillary lymph node (LN) staging in breast cancer patients in an observer-performance study. Materials and Methods: An observer-performance study was conducted with five breast radiologists reviewing 50 consecutive patients of newly diagnosed invasive breast cancer with the use of ipsilateral axillary MRI and US. LN status was pathologically proved in all patients. Each observer reviewed the images in two separate sessions: one for MRI and the other for US. Observers were asked to indicate their confidence of the presence of at least one ipsilateral metastatic LN on a quasi-continuous rating scale and whether they recommend percutaneous biopsy preoperatively. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and area under the ROC curve were used to characterize diagnostic performance. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) were calculated from whether observers recommended biopsy. Results: There were no statistically significant differences in each observer's performance between MRI and US, or in the performance of all observers as a group, in terms of ROC analysis. There were no statistically significant differences in sensitivity, specificity, PPV, or NPV between MRI and US, but there were statistically significant improvements in specificity and PPV from either MRI or US alone to MRI and US combined. Conclusions: Observer performance on MRI and US are comparable for axillary LN staging. When US and MRI are concordant for positive findings, higher specificity and PPV can be obtained.
- Breast cancer
- Lymph node
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging