Confine breast MRI screen to high-risk women: expert

Women at very high risk of the disease are recommended to have an annual surveillance MRI, in addition to mammography.

A study, conducted at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, looked at 223 women screened during the first five years of the program.

Almost a third of the women (30.9%) were confirmed to be carriers of the breast cancer gene mutation. The other 69.1% were classified as high risk based on family history.

A total of 340 MRIs were performed and 20.3% of patients were recalled for further assessment.

The authors said there was a concern the increased sensitivity of MRI could result in a high recall rate, which was detrimental because it increased costs and generated anxiety among patients.

However, there was a reduction in the recall rate throughout the study, from 50% in 2008 to 14% in 2011.The authors speculated this was due to improved radiologist experience.

The overall biopsy rate was 11.5% and four