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Benefits of breast MRIs

Published July 09. 2010 05:00PM

What are the benefits of breast MRI?

• MRI is a noninvasive imaging technique that does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation.

• MRI has proved valuable in diagnosing a broad range of conditions, including detecting and staging breast cancer, particularly when other imaging studies (mammography, ultrasound, etc.) fail to provide adequate information.

• MRI enables the discovery of abnormalities that might be obscured by bone with other imaging methods.

• The contrast material used in MRI exams is less likely to produce an allergic reaction than the iodine-based materials used for conventional x-rays and CT scanning.

• MRI is growing in popularity as an addition to traditional x-ray mammography in the early diagnosis of breast cancer.

• MRI has been shown to detect small breast lesions that are sometimes missed by mammography.

• MRI can successfully image the dense breast common in younger women, as well as breast implants, both of which are difficult to image using traditional mammography.

• MRI as an addition to mammography has been shown to be useful in evaluating women at high risk for breast cancer.

• If a suspicious lesion is seen with MRI only, MRI can provide guidance for biopsy.

Source: (developed jointly the American College of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America)

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