OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of a short protocol for screening breast MRI that is noninferior to standard-of-care (SOC) MRI in image quality that complies with American College of Radiology accreditation requirements. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. In a prospective feasibility trial, 23 women at high risk underwent both an initial SOC MRI examination that included axial iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetry and least-squares estimation (IDEAL) and T1-weighted volume imaging for breast assessment (VIBRANT) dynamic contrast-enhanced sequences and a separate short breast MRI protocol comprising a fast spin-echo (FSE) triple-echo Dixon T2 sequence for T2-weighted imaging and a 3D dual-echo fast spoiled gradient-echo two-point Dixon sequence for dynamic contrast-enhanced imaging from October 1, 2015, through May 2, 2016. Image quality assessment was performed by three radiologists, who scored the images for fat saturation, artifact severity, and quality of normal anatomic structures. Enhancing lesions were evaluated according to BI-RADS MRI features. Quantitative analysis was performed by measuring the signal intensity of anatomic areas in each patient. RESULTS. The mean acquisition time for short-protocol breast MRI was 9.42 minutes and for SOC MRI was 22.09 minutes (p < 0.0001). The mean table times were 13.92 and 35.87 minutes (p < 0.0001). Compared with the FSE triple-echo Dixon T2 short-protocol breast MRI sequence, the IDEAL SOC MRI sequence had significantly worse motion artifact (p < 0.01) and fat saturation (p = 0.04). The other parameters did not differ significantly. Quantitative analysis showed that the FSE triple-echo Dixon T2 sequence had more effective fat saturation and higher tissue contrast. All five lesions were given the same assessments by the readers, and at BI-RADS lesion morphologic ranking, identical high image quality scores were assigned to both the VIBRANT and 3D dual-echo fast spoiled gradient-echo 2-point Dixon sequences. CONCLUSION. Short-protocol breast MRI comprising a T2-weighted sequence and a fast dynamic sequence with less than 10-minute acquisition time is feasible and has image quality at least equivalent to that of an SOC MRI protocol with a > 20-minute mean acquisition time. Larger studies comparing the cancer detection rate, sensitivity, and specificity of each imaging protocol are needed to determine whether short-protocol breast MRI can replace SOC MRI to screen patients at high breast cancer risk.
- Abbreviated protocol
- Breast MRI
- Fast spin-echo triple-echo Dixon
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging