What are the indications for breast MRI?

Updated: Oct 17, 2016
  • Author: Nagwa Dongola, MD, FRCR; Chief Editor: Peter Eby, MD  more...
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The generally accepted indications for breast MRI include the following:

  1. Screening women with a lifetime risk of breast cancer >20%.

  2. Search for primary malignancy in the breast in patients who have adenocarcinoma in an axillary lymph node but have a normal mammogram and clinical breast exam.

  3. Evaluation of the extent of disease in the ipsilateral breast and possible synchronous cancer in the contralateral breast in women with a new diagnosis of cancer.

  4. Follow-up of known cancer to assess response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Berg et al showed that MRI was more accurate than mammography or ultrasound at depicting the full extent of disease for DCIS, invasive ductal carcinoma, and invasive lobular carcinoma. [28] Kuhl et al demonstrated that MRI is much more sensitive for the detection of DCIS than mammography (94% vs 54% respectively). [29]


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