What are the advantages of MRI for breast cancer screening?

Updated: Apr 10, 2019
  • Author: Erin V Newton, MD; Chief Editor: Marie Catherine Lee, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

Advantages of MRI

The many advantages of breast MRI over conventional breast imaging for the detection of malignancy have become apparent with increasing clinical experience. These advantages include the following:

  • No ionizing radiation

  • All imaging planes possible

  • Capability of imaging the entire breast volume and chest wall

  • Superb 3-D lesion mapping with techniques such as maximum intensity projection (MIP) slab 3-D reconstruction

  • Greater than 90% sensitivity to invasive carcinoma

  • Detection of occult, multifocal, or residual malignancy

  • Accurate size estimation for invasive carcinoma

  • Good spatial resolution

  • Ability to image regional lymph nodes (although accurate staging remains problematic)


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