What further testing is needed to diagnose incidental lesions detected on magnetic resonance mammography (breast MRI)?

Updated: Feb 25, 2019
  • Author: Preeti Gupta, MD, FRCR; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Breast MRI relies on detection of abnormal enhancement caused by neoangiogenesis associated with malignancy. The increasing use of breast MRI has inevitably been accompanied by increased detection of incidental enhancing abnormalities that were not detected by conventional imaging. These apparent lesions may represent normal or dysplastic tissues, cyclic hormonal changes, benign tumors, or unexpected malignant foci. The nature of such foci must be clarified so that a cancer is not missed and small cancers are identified.

Three strategies are commonly used to diagnose these lesions: performing MRI-guided repeat US (second-look ultrasound), repeating breast MRI at another suitable time, or performing MRI-guided needle biopsy.

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