Magnetic resonance imaging of the breast: role in the evaluation of ductal carcinoma in situ

Abstract Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a precursor mammary lesion whose malignant cells do not extend beyond the basement membrane and presents a risk of progression to malignant disease. Its early detection increased with screening mammography. The objective of this study was to review the literature on the main presentations of DCIS on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), through searches of the Medline/PubMed, Latin-American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (Lilacs), and Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) databases. DCIS can occur in its pure form or in conjunction with invasive disease, in the same lesion, in different foci, or in the contralateral breast. MRI has a high sensitivity for the detection of pure DCIS, being able to identify the non-calcified component, and its accuracy increases with the nuclear grade of the lesion. The most common pattern of presentation is non-nodular enhancement; heterogeneous internal structures; a kinetic curve showing washout or plateau enhancement; segmental distribution; and restricted diffusion. MRI plays an important role in the detection of DCIS, especially in the evaluation of its extent, contributing to more reliable surgical excision and reducing local recurrence.