What is Breast MRI?
Breast MRI is a magnetic resonance imaging exam of the breast. Since MRI visualizes internal tissues in ways that complement the capabilities of other imaging methods, such as mammography (which is X-ray-based) and breast ultrasound, MRI has become increasingly important in breast imaging for diagnostic and screening purposes. An important strength that MRI adds to breast diagnosis and screening is the ability to generate highly detailed image “slices” of breast tissue at different depths.
Doctors may recommend breast MRI for women as a:
- Screening to supplement the annual mammogram—breast MRI can be an especially important adjunct screening for women with dense breast tissue, which makes breast cancer harder to see in a mammogram, or who have other factors that increase their lifetime breast cancer risk.
- Follow-up diagnostic exam after a mammogram that is inconclusive or shows one or more areas of suspicious tissue.
- Post-procedure assessment for patients who have received breast cancer treatment, such as a lumpectomy or chemotherapy.