The Society of Surgical Oncology, inc.
The American Society of Breast Surgeons.
Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Supine Breast MRI and 3D Optical Scanning: A Novel Approach to Improve Tumor Localization for Breast Conserving Surgery

Matthew J. Pallone PhD, Steven P. Poplack MD, Hima Bindu R. Avutu MD, Keith D. Paulsen PhD, Richard J. Barth Jr. MD
Breast Oncology
Volume 21, Issue 7 / July , 2014



Wire localization for excision of nonpalpable breast cancer is an inefficient and inexact technique.


A total of 18 women with palpable invasive breast cancers underwent preoperative prone and supine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Intraoperatively, the edges of the tumor were palpated and marked on the skin surface. The breast was optically scanned, and the supine MRI was adjusted to match the actual breast position at the time of surgery. Image-defined tumor edges were marked on the surface of the breast. The main outcome measure was the distance between the image-defined and palpation-defined edges of the tumor.


No significant difference was found between the mean maximal tumor diameter as measured by histopathology (29.6 ± 14.3 mm), supine MRI (25.3 ± 9.7 mm), prone MRI (27.6 ± 13 mm), or palpation (30.5 ± 9.3 mm). The distance from the tumor to the chest wall was markedly different in prone versus supine MRI (56.4 ± 38 vs 19.5 ± 20 mm, p = .002). The average distance between the palpated and supine MRI image-defined tumor edge locations was 7.2 mm (range, 0–19 mm). Accuracy improved over time; the average difference in edge locations in the last 7 patients was 4.0 mm. All 4 image-defined edge locations in the last 5 patients were ≤1 cm away from the palpated locations.


We have developed a method of breast tumor localization using preoperative supine MRI and intraoperative optical scanning that defines tumor size and position as accurately as palpation.

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