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Pre-Op Breast MRI Affected by Patient Positioning

Prone position might introduce error

THURSDAY, June 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) — There is evidence that the position a woman is placed in during preoperative breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could influence the scan’s accuracy, according to research published online June 22 in Radiology.

Eva Gombos, M.D., of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues looked at 12 breast cancer patients undergoing lumpectomy. Six patients had MRI breast scans both before and after their surgeries.

The researchers found that prone position during MRI resulted in significant deformity of both the breast and the tumor’s position within the breast. There was “change in size and shape caused by displacement and deformation of the tumor between standard imaging in the prone position and operative supine position,” Gombos said in a hospital news release.

Senior author Mehra Golshan, M.D., chair of surgical oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, suggested that conducting MRI in both the prone and supine positions “may help detect a remnant tumor and ensure clear margins to prevent re-operation.” In the news release, Golshan noted that “among women undergoing breast-conserving surgery, 15 to 40 percent need to have a second operation to remove remnant tumor.”

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