OBJECTIVES: Incidental diagnosis of vertebral fractures (VFs) may represent a key point in the assessment of bone health status. Our purpose was to retrospectively evaluate localisation sequences (MR-loc) of breast MRI as a potential tool to detect osteoporotic VFs. METHODS: MR-loc sagittal images of 856 breast MRIs were reviewed by three expert musculoskeletal radiologists with a semiquantitative approach to detecting VFs. Anamnesis and data of patients were investigated. Official breast MRI and previous imaging reports were checked to understand if VFs or other relevant bone findings were known in patients' clinical history. RESULTS: A total of 780/856 female patients (91.1 %) undergoing MRI for oncological reasons and 76/856 (8.9 %) with non-oncological aims were recruited into the study (54.7 ± 12.2 years old, 21-89 years); 57/856 MR-loc images (6.7 %) were considered inadequate for diagnostic purposes and were excluded from the analysis. MR-loc detected VFs in 71/799 patients (8.9 %). VFs were neither reported nor previously known in the clinical history of 63/71 patients (88.7 %; P < 0.001). No mention of VFs was found in any breast MR reports. In four patients MR-loc identified vertebral metastases. CONCLUSIONS: A systematic evaluation of MR-loc may offer additional clinical information to prevent unrecognised VFs. MR-loc may screen for VFs in other imaging settings.
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