What is the BIRADS description of the phases of enhancement in 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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The enhancement curves obtained by DCE-MRI are divided into 2 phases of enhancement: early (between contrast injection and second postcontrast minute) and delayed (after second postcontrast minute).

The American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BIRADS) lexicon describes 3 types of early phase enhancement: slow, medium, and rapid. Most malignant lesions show faster early enhancement, as compared to normal breast tissue and benign lesions. The delayed phase of enhancement is also characterized into 3 types:

  • Progressive (type I): enhancement continues to increase throughout the dynamic scans.

  • Plateau (type II): peak enhancement is reached at the end of the early phase and then does not change significantly in the delayed phase.

  • Washout (type III): enhancement decreases after the early phase peak enhancement.

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