Patients with a high lifetime risk of developing breast cancer undergo annual screening magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) starting at age 30. A proportion of these patients are subsequently required to undergo short-interval follow-up MRI 6 months after their baseline examination. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility and outcome of these short-interval follow-up examinations in this population.
A retrospective review was performed of 523 patients who received their baseline high-risk breast screening MRI at our institution between 2013 and 2017. The proportion of patients who received a short-interval follow-up MRI at 6 months was recorded. The findings at baseline and follow-up MRI were recorded, as well as the outcomes and results of any interventions performed.
Ninety-six (17.6%) patients (age range: 25-67, mean age: 41) received a short-interval follow-up MRI following their baseline screening examination. Indications for follow-up included moderate to marked background parenchymal enhancement, nonmass enhancement, and likely benign enhancing mass. Of the 92 patients, 5 (5.4%) went on to have a biopsy, with none revealing a malignant pathology. The remainder either returned to routine screening (91.3%) or received further imaging in the form of ultrasound or additional follow-up MRI (3.3%).
Short-interval follow-up breast MRI in high-risk patients after a baseline screening study with likely benign findings is unlikely to yield clinically significant findings. This retrospective study can be considered a starting point for additional future work looking at the rate, indications, and yield of short-interval follow-up following baseline high-risk screening breast MRI studies.