Background We aimed to investigate the usefulness of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histopathological shrinkage patterns to formulate a predictive equation for estimating residual tumor size after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients.
Methods We enrolled 34 TNBC patients who underwent MRI before and after NAC. The MRI and histopathological shrinkage patterns were analyzed and classified into five categories—types I and II (concentric shrinkage without or with surrounding lesions, respectively), type III (shrinkage with residual multinodular lesions), type IV (diffuse contrast enhancement in the entire quadrant), and non-visualization. The residual tumor sizes following MRI and histopathological examination were also compared.
Results The most common MRI and histopathological shrinkage pattern was type I (41.2% and 38.2%, respectively), followed by non-visualization (26.5% and 32.4%, respectively); the concordance rate between MRI and histopathological shrinkage patterns was 41.2%. There was a strong correlation between MRI tumor size and pathological tumor size (r = 0.89). Based on these findings, a predictive equation for pathological tumor size was formulated as follows: pathological tumor size \left(mm\right) = 1.1502 \times \left(MRI tumor size \right[mm\left]\right) + 8.4277.
Conclusions Our equation may aid accurate preoperative assessment. Further studies are needed to determine its predictive value and applicability.