Diagnostic Performance of MRI Versus Galactography in Women With Pathologic Nipple Discharge: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Nicole Berger, Andrea Luparia, Giovanni Di Leo, Luca Alessandro Carbonaro, Rubina Manuela Trimboli, Federico Ambrogi, Francesco Sardanelli,


AJR. American journal of roentgenology, May 24, 2017


The objective of our study was to perform a systematic review of the literature of the diagnostic accuracy of MRI compared with galactography in women with pathologic nipple discharge. A systematic literature search was performed (MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science) for articles evaluating the diagnostic performance of MRI and galactography in patients with pathologic nipple discharge and with histologic verification or clinical follow-up. Distinction between any abnormality and cancer was made. Two independent readers selected eligible articles published until December 2015. The quality of the studies was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 (QUADAS-2) tool. Data analyses were performed using the bivariate model. Ten articles were analyzed for a total of 921 patients. The study quality was high, with a low risk of bias and low concerns regarding applicability. The pooled sensitivity for any abnormality was significantly higher for MRI, with 92% (95% CI, 85-96%), than for galactography, with 69% (95% CI, 59-78%) (p < 0.001). The pooled specificity was 76% (95% CI, 49-92%) for MRI versus 39% (95% CI, 16-69%) for galactography (p < 0.001). The pooled sensitivity and specificity for cancer detection were calculated for MRI only and were 92% (95% CI, 74-98%) and 97% (95% CI, 80-100%), respectively. This meta-analysis shows a higher diagnostic performance of MRI compared with that of galactography in the detection of any kind of lesion in patients with pathologic nipple discharge. Moreover, high sensitivity and very high specificity for cancer by MRI could be confirmed in this clinical setting. If mammography and ultrasound are negative, MRI should be preferred over galactography for further evaluation.


Pubmed Link: 28537847

DOI: 10.2214/AJR.16.16682