Computer-Aided Diagnosis in Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging Screening of Women With Extremely Dense Breasts to Reduce False-Positive Diagnoses

Verburg, Erik, van Gils, Carla H, Bakker, Marije F, Viergever, Max A, Pijnappel, Ruud M, Veldhuis, Wouter B, Gilhuijs, Kenneth G A


Investigative Radiology 55 (7), p. 438-444


OBJECTIVES: To reduce the number of false-positive diagnoses in the screening of women with extremely dense breasts using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we aimed to predict which BI-RADS 3 and BI-RADS 4 lesions are benign. For this purpose, we use computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) based on multiparametric assessment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Consecutive data were used from the first screening round of the DENSE (Dense Tissue and Early Breast Neoplasm Screening) trial. In this trial, asymptomatic women with a negative screening mammography and extremely dense breasts were screened using multiparametric MRI. In total, 4783 women, aged 50 to 75 years, enrolled and were screened in 8 participating hospitals between December 2011 and January 2016. In total, 525 lesions in 454 women were given a BI-RADS 3 (n = 202), 4 (n = 304), or 5 score (n = 19). Of these lesions, 444 were benign and 81 were malignant on histologic examination.The MRI protocol consisted of 5 different MRI sequences: T1-weighted imaging without fat suppression, diffusion-weighted imaging, T1-weighted contrast-enhanced images at high spatial resolution, T1-weighted contrast-enhanced images at high temporal resolution, and T2-weighted imaging. A machine-learning method was developed to predict, without deterioration of sensitivity, which of the BI-RADS 3- and BI-RADS 4-scored lesions are actually benign and could be prevented from being recalled. BI-RADS 5 lesions were only used for training, because the gain in preventing false-positive diagnoses is expected to be low in this group. The CAD consists of 2 stages: feature extraction and lesion classification. Two groups of features were extracted: the first based on all multiparametric sequences, the second based only on sequences that are typically used in abbreviated MRI protocols. In the first group, 49 features were used as candidate predictors: 46 were automatically calculated from the MRI scans, supplemented with 3 clinical features (age, body mass index, and BI-RADS score). In the second group, 36 image features and the same 3 clinical features were used. Each group was considered separately in a machine-learning model to differentiate between benign and malignant lesions. We developed a Ridge regression model using 10-fold cross validation. Performance of the models was analyzed using an accuracy measure curve and receiver-operating characteristic analysis.

RESULTS: Of the total number of BI-RADS 3 and BI-RADS 4 lesions referred to additional MRI or biopsy, 425/487 (87.3%) were false-positive. The full multiparametric model classified 176 (41.5%) and the abbreviated-protocol model classified 111 (26.2%) of the 425 false-positive BI-RADS 3- and BI-RADS 4-scored lesions as benign without missing a malignant lesion.If the full multiparametric CAD had been used to aid in referral, recall for biopsy or repeat MRI could have been reduced from 425/487 (87.3%) to 311/487 (63.9%) lesions. For the abbreviated protocol, it could have been 376/487 (77.2%).

CONCLUSIONS: Dedicated multiparametric CAD of breast MRI for BI-RADS 3 and 4 lesions in screening of women with extremely dense breasts has the potential to reduce false-positive diagnoses and consequently to reduce the number of biopsies without missing cancers.