BACKGROUND: Patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) are at increased risk of brain metastases (BMs). In this retrospective single-institutional study, we assessed the radiographic features from a cohort of breast cancer (BC) patients with confirmed BM. METHODS: Women diagnosed with BC with BM from January 1, 1996 to May 31, 2012 were identified through institutional databases. Relevant medical records were reviewed to assess patterns of recurrence, treatment, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of BM, and survival after BM. The MRI finding of BM was classified as solid, necrotic, leptomeningeal spread, or mixed type. We assigned the patient into three groups according to histologic subtype of primary BC. RESULTS: In total, 62 patients, median age 53 years (range 20-78), were identified and specific treatment for BM consisted of radiotherapy, surgical resection, and systemic chemotherapy. The initial stage, post-BM survival and overall survival were not significantly different. However, cystic necrotic BMs appeared on MR images were significantly more associated with the TNBC group. CONCLUSION: Patients with BMs from TNBC have distinct MRI features helping the assessment of newly developed BM. A large confirmatory study with correlated histology in this unique patient population will be required.
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