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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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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