Breast MR

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays).

MRI of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging but rather a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities.

MR imaging of the breast is performed to:

  • assess multiple tumor locations, especially prior to breast conservation surgery.
  • identify early breast cancer not detected through other means, especially in women with dense breast tissue and those at high risk for the disease.
  • evaluate abnormalities detected by mammography or ultrasound.
  • distinguish between scar tissue and recurrent tumors.
  • determine whether cancer detected by mammography, ultrasound, or after surgical biopsy has spread further in the breast or into the chest wall.
  • assess the effect of chemotherapy.
  • provide additional information on a diseased breast to make treatment decisions.
  • determine the integrity of breast implants.