What is a breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)? Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic exam that uses a combination of a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of the structures within the breast. It is primarily used as a supplemental tool to breast screening with mammography or ultrasound.
Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) uses radio waves and strong magnets to make detailed pictures of the inside of the breast. When is breast MRI used? To help determine the extent of breast cancer: Breast MRI is sometimes used in women who already have been diagnosed with breast cancer, to help measure the size of the cancer, look for other tumors in the breast, and to check for tumors in …
If contrast was used during your procedure, you may be monitored for a period of time for any side effects or reactions to the contrast, such as itching, swelling, rash, or difficulty breathing. For some types of exams, you may be asked to hold your breath. Explore Mayo Clinic studies of tests and procedures to help prevent, detect, treat or manage conditions. Breast cancer screening for women at average risk: guideline update from the American Cancer Society. Manual on contrast media v The radio waves knock the nuclei of the atoms in your body out of their normal position. Guidelines about eating and drinking before your exam vary between facilities. Pillows and straps may be used to prevent movement during the procedure. They may use straps and bolsters to help you stay still and maintain your position. You can speak to the technologist through a microphone. American College of Radiology. Sorry something went wrong with your subscription Please, try again in a couple of minutes Retry. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. How do I prepare for a breast MRI? Metal and electronic items are not allowed in the exam room. Tell the technologist or radiologist about any shrapnel, bullets, or other metal that may be in your body. When the exam is complete, the technologist may ask you to wait while the radiologist checks the images in case more are needed. MRI scans are usually done on an outpatient basis in a hospital or clinic. Breast MRI does not use ionizing radiation, and it is the best method for determining whether silicone breast implants have ruptured. Examination for cancer in women who have implants or scar tissue that might produce an inaccurate result from a mammogram. A computer processes the signals and creates a series of images, each of which shows a thin slice of the body. To date there is no information indicating that MRI is harmful to an unborn child, however MRI testing during the first trimester is discouraged. It may also see if there has been any change in an issue over time. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Women should always tell their doctor and technologist if they are pregnant. A recent study indicates that breast MRI can detect cancer in the opposite breast that may be missed at the time of the first breast cancer diagnosis. If you are a patient in this category, consult with your doctor about the possibility of gadolinium retention, as this effect varies from patient to patient. This is because some techniques time the imaging based on the electrical activity of the heart. You may need a blood test to confirm your kidneys are functioning normally. Some MRI machines look like narrow tunnels, while others are more spacious or wider. Journal of the American College of Radiology. As the nuclei realign into proper position, they send out radio signals. You will need to change into a hospital gown. It can also be aunts or cousins, including those on your father's side. Email address. When you call to make an appointment, it is extremely important that you inform if any of the following apply to you:. Let the technologist know if you have any kind of allergies or have had problems before with any contrast or dye used in imaging tests. View full size with caption. Detailed MR images allow doctors to examine the body and detect disease. Follow-up exams are often the best way to see if treatment is working or if a problem needs attention. Other coils are inside the machine and, in some cases, are placed around the part of the body being imaged. These devices may interfere with the exam or pose a risk. The entire table then slides into the opening of the machine. Breast MRI images are combined, using a computer, to create detailed pictures. Determining whether lumpectomy or mastectomy would be more effective.
Magnetic resonance imaging MRI of the breast — or breast MRI — is a test used to detect breast cancer and other abnormalities in the breast. A breast MRI captures multiple images of your breast. Breast MRI images are combined, using a computer, to create detailed pictures. A breast MRI usually is performed after you have a biopsy that's positive for cancer and your doctor needs more information about the extent of the disease. For some people, a breast MRI may be used with mammograms as a screening tool for detecting breast cancer. That group of people includes women with a high risk of breast cancer, who have a very strong family history of breast cancer or carry a hereditary breast cancer gene mutation. A breast MRI is used to assess the extent of breast cancer. It's also used to screen for breast cancer in women thought to have a high risk of the disease. If you're unsure whether you may be at high risk, ask your doctor to help you determine your personal risk estimate. A referral to a breast clinic or breast-health specialist may help you better understand your risk and your screening options. A breast MRI is intended to be used along with a mammogram or other breast-imaging test — not as a replacement for a mammogram. Although it's a sensitive test, a breast MRI can still miss some breast cancers that a mammogram will detect. There is a problem with information submitted for this request. Sign up for free and receive the latest on breast cancer treatment, care and management. Error Select a topic. Error Email field is required. Error Include a valid email address. To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail. You will receive the first breast cancer email in your inbox shortly, which will include information on treatment, diagnosis, surgery and how breast cancer teams at Mayo Clinic approach personalized care. A breast MRI is a safe procedure that doesn't expose you to radiation. But as with other tests, a breast MRI has risks, such as:. During a breast MRI , you lie on your stomach on a padded scanning table. Your breasts fit into a hollow depression in the table, which contains coils that detect magnetic signals. The table slides into the large opening of the MRI machine. When you arrive for your appointment, a member of your health care team may give you a gown or robe to wear. You'll receive instructions on removing clothing and jewelry. If you have trouble being in a small, confined space, tell your doctor before your breast MRI. You may be given a mild sedative. A dye contrast agent may be injected through an intravenous IV line in your arm to make the tissues or blood vessels on the MRI pictures easier to see. The MRI machine has a large, central opening. During the breast MRI, you lie facedown on a padded scanning table. Your breasts fit into a hollow depression in the table, which contains coils that detect magnetic signals from the MRI machine. The entire table then slides into the opening of the machine. The MRI machine creates a magnetic field around you, and radio waves are directed at your body. You won't feel the magnetic field or radio waves, but you may hear loud tapping and thumping sounds coming from inside the machine. Because of the loud noise, you may be given earplugs to wear. During the test, the technologist monitors you from another room. You can speak to the technologist through a microphone. You'll be instructed to breathe normally but to lie as still as possible. A breast MRI can reveal abnormalities in your breast. A breast biopsy may be necessary to determine whether abnormal areas found on breast MRI are cancerous. A doctor specializing in imaging techniques radiologist reviews the images from your breast MRI, and a member of your health care team will contact you to discuss the results of the test.
If your exam uses a contrast material, a doctor, nurse, or technologist will insert an intravenous catheter IV line into a vein in your hand or arm. When you call to make an appointment, it is extremely important that you inform if any of the following apply to you:. When the exam is complete, the technologist may ask you to wait while the radiologist checks the images in case more are needed. Implants and other metallic objects can make it difficult to obtain clear images. The entire table then slides into the opening of the machine. The technologist will remove your IV line after the exam is over and place a small dressing over the insertion site. Metal and electronic items are not allowed in the exam room. Sponsored By. The test is painless, but you have to lie still inside the narrow tube. Explore Mayo Clinic studies of tests and procedures to help prevent, detect, treat or manage conditions. IV contrast manufacturers indicate mothers should not breastfeed their babies for hours after contrast material is given. Radiologist and patient consultation. Outside links: For the convenience of our users, RadiologyInfo. However, your vital signs will be monitored to minimize this risk. While the MRI procedure itself causes no pain, having to lie still for the length of the procedure might cause some discomfort or pain, particularly in the case of a recent injury or invasive procedure such as surgery. Due to the use of the strong magnet, special precautions must be taken to perform an MRI on patients with certain implanted devices such as pacemakers or cochlear implants. For more information, consult your radiologist. These effects usually last for a few moments. Some newer MRI machines have a larger diameter bore, which can be more comfortable for larger patients or those with claustrophobia. This is best accomplished by making sure you are comfortable and can relax rather than trying to actively hold still tensing your muscles. A recent study indicates that breast MRI can detect cancer in the opposite breast that may be missed at the time of the first breast cancer diagnosis. Once it is removed, you may experience some bruising. Detecting changes in the other breast that has not been newly diagnosed with breast cancer There is an approximately 10 percent chance that women with breast cancer will develop cancer in the opposite breast. If you are to have a procedure done with contrast, an intravenous IV line will be started in the hand or arm for injection of the contrast dye. At intervals, you may be instructed to hold your breath, or to not breathe, for a few seconds, depending on the body part being examined. Some scanners have music to help you pass the time. You may be asked to hold your breath or keep very still during certain parts of the test. For example, it is not always able to distinguish the difference between cancerous abnormalities, which may lead to unnecessary breast biopsies. What are the limitations of MRI of the Breast? Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You should plan to have someone drive you home afterwards. However, these items may distort images of the facial area or brain. The latest on newly diagnosed breast cancer Up-to-date information on recurrent breast cancer Specialized treatment information for high risk breast cancer Error Select a topic. However, you will be in constant sight of the technologist through a window. Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. Pregnant women should not receive gadolinium contrast unless absolutely necessary. Tell the technologist if you have medical or electronic devices in your body. Some MRI units, called short-bore systems , are designed so that the magnet does not completely surround you. Mayo Clinic Marketplace Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. Cross-sectional views can be obtained to reveal further details. This is most likely to occur in patients receiving multiple MRI exams over their lifetime for monitoring chronic or high-risk health conditions. Metal objects used in orthopedic surgery generally pose no risk during MRI. It is normal for the area of your body being imaged to feel slightly warm. You will be able to talk to the technologist via an intercom. Magnetic resonance imaging MRI of the breast uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of the structures within the breast. Sign up for free and receive the latest on breast cancer treatment, care and management. You'll receive instructions on removing clothing and jewelry. Other coils are inside the machine and, in some cases, are placed around the part of the body being imaged. Leave all jewelry and other accessories at home or remove them prior to the MRI scan. However, even if the patient has a known allergy to gadolinium, it may be possible to use it after appropriate pre-medication. You should notify the technologist if you feel any breathing difficulties, sweating, numbness, or heart palpitations.
Learn more. What is a breast magnetic resonance imaging MRI? Magnetic resonance imaging MRI is a diagnostic exam that uses a combination of a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. The MRI machine is a large, cylindrical tube-shaped machine that creates a strong magnetic field around the patient. The magnetic field, along with radio waves, alters the hydrogen atoms' natural alignment in the body. Computers are then used to form a two-dimensional 2D image of a body structure or organ based on the activity of the hydrogen atoms. Cross-sectional views can be obtained to reveal further details. MRI does not use radiation. A magnetic field is created and pulses of radio waves are sent from a scanner. The radio waves knock the nuclei of the atoms in your body out of their normal position. As the nuclei realign into proper position, they send out radio signals. These signals are received by a computer that analyzes and converts them into an image of the part of the body being examined. This image appears on a viewing monitor. Some MRI machines look like narrow tunnels, while others are more spacious or wider. For a breast MRI, the woman usually lies face down, with her breasts positioned through openings in the table. In order to check breast positioning, the technologist watches the MRI through a window while monitoring for any potential movement. A breast MRI usually requires the use of contrast that is injected into a vein in the arm before or during the procedure. The dye may help create clearer images that outline abnormalities more easily. MRI, used with mammography and breast ultrasound, can be a useful diagnostic tool. Recent research has found that MRI can locate some small breast lesions sometimes missed by mammography. It can also help detect breast cancer in women with breast implants and in younger women who tend to have dense breast tissue. Mammography may not be as effective in these cases. Since MRIs do not use radiation, they may be used to screen women younger than 40 and to increase the number of screenings per year for women at high risk for breast cancer. Although it has distinct advantages over mammography, breast MRI also has potential limitations. For example, it is not always able to distinguish the difference between cancerous abnormalities, which may lead to unnecessary breast biopsies. This is often referred to as a "false positive" test result. Recent research has demonstrated that using commercially available software programs to enhance breast MRI scans can reduce the number of false positive results with malignant tumors. Thus, the need for biopsies may decrease with computer-aided enhancement. Another disadvantage of breast MRI is that it has historically been unable to identify calcifications or tiny calcium deposits that can indicate breast cancer. The most recent guidelines from the American Cancer Society include screening MRI with mammography for certain high-risk women. This option should be considered for the following:. Women who have had radiation treatment to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30, such as for treatment of Hodgkin disease. Women with the genetic disorders Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome; or those who have a first degree relative with the syndrome. Further evaluation of abnormalities detected by mammography. Finding early breast cancers not detected by other tests, especially in women at high risk and women with dense breast tissue. Examination for cancer in women who have implants or scar tissue that might produce an inaccurate result from a mammogram. This test can also be helpful for women with lumpectomy scars to check for any changes. Detecting small abnormalities not seen with mammography or ultrasound for example, MRI has been useful for women who have breast cancer cells present in an underarm lymph node, but do not have a lump that can be felt or can be viewed on diagnostic studies. Evaluate the size and precise location of breast cancer lesions, including the possibility that more than one area of the breast may be involved this is helpful for cancers that spread and involve more than one area. Determining whether lumpectomy or mastectomy would be more effective. Detecting changes in the other breast that has not been newly diagnosed with breast cancer There is an approximately 10 percent chance that women with breast cancer will develop cancer in the opposite breast. A recent study indicates that breast MRI can detect cancer in the opposite breast that may be missed at the time of the first breast cancer diagnosis. White Marsh. Because radiation is not used, there is no risk of exposure to radiation during an MRI procedure. Each patient must be screened before exposure to the MRI magnetic field. Due to the use of the strong magnet, special precautions must be taken to perform an MRI on patients with certain implanted devices such as pacemakers or cochlear implants.