What is the normal appearance of background parenchymal enhancement (BPE) 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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BPE has been officially added to the new BI-RADS MRI lexicon and the MRI report. There are four terms that describe the BPE: minimal, mild, moderate, and marked.

BPE does not directly correlate with amount of fibroglandular tissue seen on mammography.

These patterns and the intensity of enhancement depend on the patient's age and menstrual-cycle stage, as well as the relevant prior medical treatment. Normal parenchyma enhances more strongly in the 35-50 year age range. The enhancement is least in the second and third weeks of the menstrual cycle. [58] Nonspecific, focal areas of enhancement may resolve or fluctuate in size from month to month. [59, 60]

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