> Breast MRI
Breast MRI is a powerful new tool in breast imaging which uses a magnetic field and radiofrequency pulses rather than ionizing radiation. The result is a picture that shows a different type of tissue contrast, and can often portray abnormalities that may be hidden on mammography or ultrasound studies. Because there are some abnormalities such as calcifications that are only seen on mammography, MRI can not replace mammography but instead serves as an adjunct to mammography.
An injection of contrast is performed for any breast MRI performed for any reason other than evaluation of implant rupture. Normal breast tissue takes up the contrast in a different way than abnormal tissue, adding to even greater tissue contrast. Common indications include:
How to prepare for my Breast MRI exam
Evaluation of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients after biopsy. MRI is performed prior to surgery so that extent of disease can be accurately assessed, minimizing the chance of leaving any cancer behind (positive margins).
Screening for high risk patients. Patients at higher than average risk of breast usually undergo annual MRI and mammography beginning at age 30, alternating at 6 month intervals. If you have questions about your risk, you can consult with your physician or speak with one of our nurses for more information.
Inconclusive findings on standard imaging, including mammography and ultrasound.
Breast MRI should only be performed on high resolution MRI scanners (at least 1.5 Tesla).