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Can semi-quantitative evaluation of uncertain (type II) time-intensity curves improve diagnosis in breast DCE-MRI?

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DOI: 10.4236/jbise.2013.63A052    3,690 Downloads   5,479 Views   Citations


Objective/Background: Qualitative assessment of uncertain (type II) time-intensity curves (TICs) in breast DCE-MRI is problematic and operator dependent. The aim of this work is to evaluate if a semi-quantitative assessment of uncertain TICs could improve overall diagnostic performance. Methods: In this study 49 lesions from 44 patients were retrospectively analysed. Per each lesion one region-of-interest (ROI)- averaged TIC was qualitatively evaluated by two radiologists in consensus: all the ROIs resulted in type II (uncertain) TIC. The same TICs were semi-quantitatively re-classified on the basis of the difference between the signal intensities of the last-time-point and of the peak: this difference was classified according to two different cut-off ranges (±5% and ±3%). All patients were cytological or histological biopsy proven. Fisher test and McNemar test were performed to evaluate if results were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Results: Using ±5% cut-off 16 TICs were reclassified as type III and 12 as type I while 21 were reclassified again as type II. Using ±3% 22 TICs were reclassified as type III and 16 as type I while 11 were reclassified again as type II. The semi-quantitative classification was compared to the histological-cytological results: the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values obtained with ±3% were 77%, 91%, 91% and 78% respectively while using ±5% were 58%, 96%, 94% and 68% respectively. Using the ±5% cut-off 26/28 (93%) TICs were correctly reclassified while using the ±3% cut-off 34/38 (90%) TICs were correctly reclassified (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Semi-quantitative methods in kinetic curve assessment on DCE-MRI could improve classification of qualitatively uncertain TICs, leading to a more accurate classification of suspicious breast lesions.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Fusco, R. , Filice, S. , Granata, V. , Mandato, Y. , Porto, A. , D’Aiuto, M. , Rinaldo, M. , Bonito, M. , Sansone, M. , Sansone, C. , Rotondo, A. and Petrillo, A. (2013) Can semi-quantitative evaluation of uncertain (type II) time-intensity curves improve diagnosis in breast DCE-MRI?. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 6, 418-425. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2013.63A052.


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