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Ru Da Lee 1 Article
Diagnostic value of magnetic resonance imaging using superparamagnetic iron oxide for axillary node metastasis in patients with breast cancer: a meta-analysis
Ru Da Lee, Jung Gu Park, Dong Won Ryu, Yoon Seok Kim
Kosin Med J. 2018;33(3):297-306.   Published online December 31, 2018
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Abstract PDFPubReader   CrossRef-TDMCrossref - TDM

Identification of axillary metastases in breast cancer is important for staging disease and planning treatment, but current techniques are associated with a number of adverse events. This report evaluates the diagnostic accuracy of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques for identification of axillary metastases in breast cancer patients.


We performed a meta-analysis of previous studies that compared SPIO enhanced MRI with histological diagnosis after surgery or biopsy. We searched PubMed, Ovid, Springer Link, and Cochrane library to identify studies reporting data for SPIO enhanced MRI for detection of axillary lymph node metastases in breast cancer until December 2013. The following keywords were used: “magnetic resonance imaging AND axilla” and “superparamagnetic iron oxide AND axilla”. Eligible studies were those that compared SPIO enhanced MRI with histological diagnosis. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated for every study; summary receiver operating characteristic and subgroup analyses were done. Study quality and heterogeneity were also assessed.


There were 7 publications that met the criteria for inclusion in our meta-analysis. SROC curve analysis for per patient data showed an overall sensitivity of 0.83 (95% Confidence interval (CI): 0.75–0.89) and overall specificity of 0.97 (95% CI: 0.94–0.98). Overall weighted area under the curve was 0.9563.


SPIO enhanced MRI showed a trend toward high diagnostic accuracy in detection of lymph node metastases for breast cancer. So, when the breast cancer patients has axillary metastases histologically, SPIO enhanced MRI may be effective diagnostic imaging modality for axillary metastases.

KMJ : Kosin Medical Journal