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Bethany Niell, MD, PhD

Academic Rank: Senior Member


My ongoing research projects include the utility of breast MRI for further evaluation of equivocal digital breast tomosynthesis findings, the development of a decision support tool to minimize unnecessary additional imaging in patients with a liver lesion detected on breast MRI, and a research survey to understand screening mammography patients’ preferences regarding communication of estimated lifetime breast cancer risks and the potential need for screening breast MRI in addition to screening mammography in women at elevated risk.


    • Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology
    • Cancer Epidemiology
    • Cancer Epidemiology Program

Education & Training

Board Certification:

  • Diagnostic Radiology


  • University of Michigan, School of Medicine, MD -
  • University of Michigan, Rackham School of Graduate Studies, PhD - Epidemiology
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Resident - Diagnostic Radiology

My research interests focus primarily on the optimal utilization of breast imaging, resulting in publications on appropriate follow-up imaging of patients after an aborted MRI-guided breast biopsy, the management of patients diagnosed with lobular neoplasia on core breast biopsy, a comprehensive analysis of breast MRI performance measures, and the clinical implications of extra-mammary incidental findings on breast MRI.


  • Funaro K, Ataya D, Niell B. Understanding the Mammography Audit. Radiol Clin North Am. 2021 Jan.59(1):41-55. Pubmedid: 33222999.
  • Niell BL, Abdalah M, Stringfield O, Raghunand N, Ataya D, Gillies R, Balagurunathan Y. Quantitative measures of background parenchymal enhancement predict breast cancer risk. Ajr Am J Roentgenol. 2020 Sep. Pubmedid: 32876474.
  • Heller SL, Lourenco AP, Niell BL, Ajkay N, Brown A, Dibble EH, Didwania AD, Jochelson MS, Klein KA, Mehta TS, Pass HA, Stuckey AR, Swain ME, Tuscano DS, Moy L. ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Imaging After Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction. J Am Coll Radiol. 2020 Nov.17(11S):S403-S414. Pubmedid: 33153553.
  • Soliman H, Hogue D, Han HS, Mooney B, Lima Barros Costa R, Lee MC, Niell B, Williams A, Chau A, Falcon S, Khakpour N, Weinfurtner RJ, Hoover S, Kiluk J, Rosa M, Khong H, Czerniecki BJ. A Phase I Trial of Talimogene Laherparepvec in Combination with Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for the Treatment of Nonmetastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Nov. Pubmedid: 33219014.
  • Falcon S, Funaro K, Williams A, Niell BL. Effect of the EQUIP initiative on additional images performed at screening mammography: a pilot study. Clin Imaging. 2020 Nov.73:13-17. Pubmedid: 33248358.
  • Li W, Newitt DC, Gibbs J, Wilmes LJ, Jones EF, Arasu VA, Strand F, Onishi N, Nguyen AA, Kornak J, Joe BN, Price ER, Ojeda-Fournier H, Eghtedari M, Zamora KW, Woodard SA, Umphrey H, Bernreuter W, Nelson M, Church AL, Bolan P, Kuritza T, Ward K, Morley K, Wolverton D, Fountain K, Lopez-Paniagua D, Hardesty L, Brandt K, McDonald ES, Rosen M, Kontos D, Abe H, Sheth D, Crane EP, Dillis C, Sheth P, Hovanessian-Larsen L, Bang DH, Porter B, Oh KY, Jafarian N, Tudorica A, Niell BL, Drukteinis J, Newell MS, Cohen MA, Giurescu M, Berman E, Lehman C, Partridge SC, Fitzpatrick KA, Borders MH, Yang WT, Dogan B, Goudreau S, Chenevert T, Yau C, DeMichele A, Berry D, Esserman LJ, Hylton NM. Predicting breast cancer response to neoadjuvant treatment using multi-feature MRI: results from the I-SPY 2 TRIAL. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2020 Nov.6(1):63. Pubmedid: 33298938. Pmcid: PMC7695723.
  • Funaro K, Prather A, Niell B, Jared Weinfurtner R. Tissue marker migration after MRI-guided breast biopsy: Migration frequency and associated factors. Breast J. 2020 Mar.26(3):440-445. Pubmedid: 31448455.
  • Conley CC, Niell BL, Augusto BM, McIntyre M, Roetzheim R, Funaro K, Vadaparampil ST. Uptake of Risk Appropriate Behaviors After Breast Cancer Risk Stratification in the Mammography Screening Population. J Am Coll Radiol. 2020 Mar.17(10):1285-1288. Pubmedid: 32229274. Pmcid: PMC7529655.
  • Drukker K, Giger ML, Joe BN, Kerlikowske K, Greenwood H, Drukteinis JS, Niell B, Fan B, Malkov S, Avila J, Kazemi L, Shepherd J. Combined Benefit of Quantitative Three-Compartment Breast Image Analysis and Mammography Radiomics in the Classification of Breast Masses in a Clinical Data Set. Radiology. 2019 Mar.290(3):621-628. Pubmedid: 30526359. Pmcid: PMC6394732.
  • Ataya D, Niell BL. Complicated Cysts: Should Management Depend Upon Age?. Acad Radiol. 2019 Jul.26(7):907-908. Pubmedid: 30987873.
  • Falcon S, Weinfurtner RJ, Mooney B, Niell BL. SAVI SCOUT® localization of breast lesions as a practical alternative to wires: Outcomes and suggestions for trouble-shooting. Clin Imaging. 2019 Jan.52:280-286. Pubmedid: 30193186.
  • Roark AA, Dang PA, Niell BL, Halpern EF, Lehman CD. Performance of Screening Breast MRI After Negative Full-Field Digital Mammography Versus After Negative Digital Breast Tomosynthesis in Women at Higher Than Average Risk for Breast Cancer. Ajr Am J Roentgenol. 2019 Feb.212(2):271-279. Pubmedid: 30540208.
  • Weinfurtner RJ, Niell B, Mekhail Y, Aguila E, Kamat L. Specialized Second Opinion Interpretations of Breast Imaging: Impact on Additional Workup and Management. Clin Breast Cancer. 2018 Oct.18(5):e1031-e1036. Pubmedid: 29625911.
  • Niell BL, Bhatt K, Dang P, Humphrey K. Utility of Breast MRI for Further Evaluation of Equivocal Findings on Digital Breast Tomosynthesis. Ajr Am J Roentgenol. 2018 Nov.211(5):1171-1178. Pubmedid: 30207789.
  • Niell BL, Lourenco AP, Moy L, Baron P, Didwania AD, diFlorio-Alexander RM, Heller SL, Holbrook AI, Le-Petross HT, Lewin AA, Mehta TS, Slanetz PJ, Stuckey AR, Tuscano DS, Ulaner GA, Vincoff NS, Weinstein SP, Newell MS. ACR Appropriateness Criteria Evaluation of the Symptomatic Male Breast. J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Nov.15(11S):S313-S320. Pubmedid: 30392600.
  • Holbrook AI, Moy L, Akin EA, Baron P, Didwania AD, Heller SL, Le-Petross HT, Lewin AA, Lourenco AP, Mehta TS, Niell BL, Slanetz PJ, Stuckey AR, Tuscano DS, Vincoff NS, Weinstein SP, Newell MS. ACR Appropriateness Criteria Breast Pain. J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Nov.15(11S):S276-S282. Pubmedid: 30392596.
  • diFlorio-Alexander RM, Slanetz PJ, Moy L, Baron P, Didwania AD, Heller SL, Holbrook AI, Lewin AA, Lourenco AP, Mehta TS, Niell BL, Stuckey AR, Tuscano DS, Vincoff NS, Weinstein SP, Newell MS. ACR Appropriateness Criteria Breast Imaging of Pregnant and Lactating Women. J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Nov.15(11S):S263-S275. Pubmedid: 30392595.
  • Bevers TB, Helvie M, Bonaccio E, Calhoun KE, Daly MB, Farrar WB, Garber JE, Gray R, Greenberg CC, Greenup R, Hansen NM, Harris RE, Heerdt AS, Helsten T, Hodgkiss L, Hoyt TL, Huff JG, Jacobs L, Lehman CD, Monsees B, Niell BL, Parker CC, Pearlman M, Philpotts L, Shepardson LB, Smith ML, Stein M, Tumyan L, Williams C, Bergman MA, Kumar R. Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis, Version 3.2018, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. J Natl Compr Canc Ne. 2018 Nov.16(11):1362-1389. Pubmedid: 30442736.
  • Lourenco AP, Moy L, Baron P, Didwania AD, diFlorio RM, Heller SL, Holbrook AI, Lewin AA, Mehta TS, Niell BL, Slanetz PJ, Stuckey AR, Tuscano DS, Vincoff NS, Weinstein SP, Newell MS. ACR Appropriateness Criteria Breast Implant Evaluation. J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 May.15(5S):S13-S25. Pubmedid: 29724416.
  • Monticciolo DL, Newell MS, Moy L, Niell B, Monsees B, Sickles EA. Breast Cancer Screening in Women at Higher-Than-Average Risk: Recommendations From the ACR. J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Mar.15(3 Pt A):408-414. Pubmedid: 29371086.
  • Niell BL. Appropriate Use of Imaging to Detect Primary, Second Primary, and Recurrent Breast Cancer. J Natl Compr Canc Ne. 2018 Jul.16(7):916-918. Pubmedid: 30006432.
  • Lee CS, Moy L, Joe BN, Sickles EA, Niell BL. Screening for Breast Cancer in Women Age 75 Years and Older. Ajr Am J Roentgenol. 2018 Feb.210(2):256-263. Pubmedid: 29112471.
  • Niell BL, Freer PE, Weinfurtner RJ, Arleo EK, Drukteinis JS. Screening for Breast Cancer. Radiol Clin North Am. 2017 Nov.55(6):1145-1162. Pubmedid: 28991557.
  • Slanetz PJ, Moy L, Baron P, diFlorio RM, Green ED, Heller SL, Holbrook AI, Lee SJ, Lewin AA, Lourenco AP, Niell B, Stuckey AR, Trikha S, Vincoff NS, Weinstein SP, Yepes MM, Newell MS. ACR Appropriateness CriteriaMonitoring Response to Neoadjuvant Systemic Therapy for Breast Cancer. J Am Coll Radiol. 2017 Nov.14(11S):S462-S475. Pubmedid: 29101985.
  • Mainiero MB, Moy L, Baron P, Didwania AD, diFlorio RM, Green ED, Heller SL, Holbrook AI, Lee SJ, Lewin AA, Lourenco AP, Nance KJ, Niell BL, Slanetz PJ, Stuckey AR, Vincoff NS, Weinstein SP, Yepes MM, Newell MS. ACR Appropriateness CriteriaBreast Cancer Screening. J Am Coll Radiol. 2017 Nov.14(11S):S383-S390. Pubmedid: 29101979.
  • Amornsiripanitch N, Mangano M, Niell BL. Screening Mammography: Patient Perceptions and Preferences Regarding Communication of Estimated Breast Cancer Risk. Ajr Am J Roentgenol. 2017 May.208(5):1163-1170. Pubmedid: 28225643.
  • Lee SJ, Trikha S, Moy L, Baron P, diFlorio RM, Green ED, Heller SL, Holbrook AI, Lewin AA, Lourenco AP, Niell BL, Slanetz PJ, Stuckey AR, Vincoff NS, Weinstein SP, Yepes MM, Newell MS. ACR Appropriateness Criteria Evaluation of Nipple Discharge. J Am Coll Radiol. 2017 May.14(5S):S138-S153. Pubmedid: 28473070.
  • Freer PE, Niell B, Rafferty EA. Preoperative Tomosynthesis-guided Needle Localization of Mammographically and Sonographically Occult Breast Lesions. Radiology. 2015 May.275(2):377-383. Pubmedid: 25575115.
  • Niell BL, Kattapuram T, Halpern EF, Salazar GM, Penzias A, Bonk SS, Forde JC, Hayden E, Sande M, Minehart RD, Gordon JA. Prospective analysis of an interprofessional team training program using high-fidelity simulation of contrast reactions. Ajr Am J Roentgenol. 2015 Jun.204(6):W670-W676. Pubmedid: 26001255.
  • Niell BL, Bennett D, Sharma A, Gazelle GS. Extramammary Findings on Breast MR Examinations: Frequency, Clinical Relevance, and Patient Outcomes. Radiology. 2015 Jul.276(1):56-64. Pubmedid: 25584711.
  • Niell BL, Gavenonis SC, Motazedi T, Chubiz JC, Halpern EP, Rafferty EA, Lee JM. Auditing a breast MRI practice: performance measures for screening and diagnostic breast MRI. J Am Coll Radiol. 2014 Sep.11(9):883-889. Pubmedid: 24787571. Pmcid: PMC4156888.
  • Niell BL, Lee JM, Johansen C, Halpern EF, Rafferty EA. Patient outcomes in canceled MRI-guided breast biopsies. Ajr Am J Roentgenol. 2014 Jan.202(1):223-228. Pubmedid: 24370148. Pmcid: PMC3876032.
  • Niell BL, Vartanians VM, Halpern EP. Improving education for the management of contrast reactions: an online didactic model. J Am Coll Radiol. 2014 Feb.11(2):185-192. Pubmedid: 24387957.
  • Niell B, Specht M, Rafferty E. Reply: To PMID 22997389. Ajr Am J Roentgenol. 2013 May.200(5):W539. Pubmedid: 23617528.
  • Hedegard W, Niell B, Specht M, Winograd J, Rafferty E. Breast reconstruction with a deep inferior epigastric perforator flap: imaging appearances of the normal flap and common complications. Ajr Am J Roentgenol. 2013 Jan.200(1):W75-W84. Pubmedid: 23255774.
  • Carter JB, Barnes JA, Niell BL, Nardi V. Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Case 24-2013. A 53-year-old woman with erythroderma, pruritus, and lymphadenopathy. N Engl J Med. 2013 Aug.369(6):559-569. Pubmedid: 23924007.
  • Niell B, Specht M, Gerade B, Rafferty E. Is excisional biopsy required after a breast core biopsy yields lobular neoplasia?. Ajr Am J Roentgenol. 2012 Oct.199(4):929-935. Pubmedid: 22997389.
  • Greenwood CM, Sun S, Veenstra J, Hamel N, Niell B, Gruber S, Foulkes WD. How old is this mutation? - a study of three Ashkenazi Jewish founder mutations. BMC Genet. 2010 May.11:39. Pubmedid: 20470408. Pmcid: PMC2889843.
  • Niell BL, Rennert G, Bonner JD, Almog R, Tomsho LP, Gruber SB. BRCA1 and BRCA2 founder mutations and the risk of colorectal cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004 Jan.96(1):15-21. Pubmedid: 14709734.
  • Niell BL, Long JC, Rennert G, Gruber SB. Genetic anthropology of the colorectal cancer-susceptibility allele APC I1307K: evidence of genetic drift within the Ashkenazim. Am J Hum Genet. 2003 Dec.73(6):1250-1260. Pubmedid: 14624392. Pmcid: PMC1180391.
  • Erson AE, Niell BL, DeMers SK, Rouillard JM, Hanash SM, Petty EM. Overexpressed genes/ESTs and characterization of distinct amplicons on 17q23 in breast cancer cells. Neoplasia. 3(6):521-526. Pubmedid: 11774034. Pmcid: PMC1506561.