What are the disadvantages 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

The widespread use of breast MRI for the detection of breast malignancy also has many disadvantages, as follows:

  • High equipment and examination costs

  • Limited scanner availability

  • Need for the injection of a contrast agent

  • No standard technique

  • Poor throughput compared with that of ultrasonography or mammography

  • Large number of images

  • Long learning curve for interpretation

  • False-positive enhancement in some benign tissues (limited specificity)

  • Variable enhancement of in situ carcinoma

  • A 5% incidence of slowly or poorly enhancing invasive carcinomas


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