When is MRI contraindicated for the diagnosis of breast cancer?

Updated: Feb 04, 2021
  • Author: Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John V Kiluk, MD, FACS  more...
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Conversely, in a number of situations, MRI is contraindicated, usually because of physical constraints that prevent adequate patient positioning. Additional contraindications include the following:

  • Contraindication to gadolinium-based contrast media (eg, allergy or pregnancy)

  • Patient’s inability to lie prone

  • Marked kyphosis or kyphoscoliosis

  • Marked obesity

  • Extremely large breasts

  • Severe claustrophobia

Relative contraindications also exist. These are essentially based on the high sensitivity but limited specificity of the technique. MRI may not be useful for the following:

  • Cancer-phobic patients at average or low risk of disease for breast cancer, because of the psychological stress associated with false-positive findings

  • Assessment of mammographically detected microcalcifications

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