Currently, patients who have MRI-guided needle localization and excision of abnormalities may be asked to have follow-up breast MRI. If the lesion has not been successfully removed, another biopsy procedure is needed to be done. Contrast-enhanced MRI of the breast is very useful when the lesions cannot be detected with other techniques. However, it is difficult to confirm the removal of the targeted tissue because the abnormality does not enhance after being removed.

"By taking x-rays of the lesion specimen, then slicing it up and taking additional x-rays, we can determine if the lesion has been removed or if additional tissue needs to be excised while the patient is still in the operating room," said Dr. Erguvan-Dogan MD, radiologist in Breast Imaging at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Whole specimen and sliced specimen radiography was performed in ten patients, and X-raying the lesion as a whole and in slices proved to be valuable, alleged Dr. Erguvan-Dogan. "In all five malignant cases, sliced specimen radiographs showed the lesion in question, helped the pathologist correctly identify the lesion while the patient was still in the operating room and helped the surgeon obtain negative surgical margins”, explained Dr. Erguvan-Dogan. In addition, with whole specimen radiography it is possible to correctly locate fractured biopsy needle localisation wires. These are usually removed before the patient leaves the operating room.

Specimen radiography is routinely used in some centres after mammographically and sonographically guided needle localisation and excision; however, specimen radiography following MRI-guided needle localisation has not been previously reported on, Dr. Erguvan-Dogan assured.; Source: American Roentgen Ray Society