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Department of NMR and MRI Facility, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi—110029, India.
Breast cancer is a major health problem in women and early detection is of prime importance. Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides both physical and physiologic tissue features that are useful in discriminating malignant from benign lesions. Contrast enhanced MRI is valuable for diagnosis of small tumors in dense breast and the structural and kinetic parameters improved the specificity of diagnosing benign from malignant lesions. It is a complimentary modality for preoperative staging, to follow response to therapy, to detect recurrences and for screening high risk women. Diffusion, perfusion and MR elastography have been applied to breast lesion characterization and show promise.
In-vivo MR spectroscopy (MRS) is a valuable method to obtain the biochemical status of normal and diseased tissues. Malignant tissues contain high concentration of choline containing compounds that can be used as a biochemical marker. MRS helps to increase the specificity of MRI in lesions larger than 1cm and to monitor the tumor response. Various MR techniques show promise primarily as adjunct to the existing standard detection techniques, and its acceptability as a screening method will increase if specificity can be improved. This review presents the progress made in different MRI and MRS techniques in breast cancer management.
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