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Bethany L. Niell, MD, PhD

Academic Rank: Associate 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.


  • 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 Sep;1-8. Pubmedid: 30207789.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 2018 Jul;52:280-286. Pubmedid: 30193186.
  • 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 CriteriaEvaluation 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.
  • 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. 2001 Nov;3(6):521-526. Pubmedid: 11774034. Pmcid: PMC1506561.