Bo Elizabeth Peng1, Sean Foxley2,
Jeremy Palgen1, Robin Holmes2,
1Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States; 2Radiology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States
We tested several MRI methods for the identification and characterization of small calcium crystals for probing microcalcifications in breast cancer. High-resolution MR images were acquired of small Ca-crystals imbedded in air bubble-free agarose phantoms in clinical and research magnets. Two types of Ca-crystals that are commonly associated with benign and malignant breast lesions, are clearly detectable and distinguishable by MRI, but not distinguishable on x-ray mammograms. The present results lend support to the feasibility of clinical visualization and analysis of microcalcifications by MRI. Detection of microcalcifications by MRI would increase sensitivity and specificity for breast cancer detection.