Contrast enhanced breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is emerging as the most sensitive method currently available for the detection of breast cancer. The technology allows thin-slice high resolution simultaneous imaging of both breasts with multiphasic dynamic post-contrast enhancement.
Indications for contrast-enhanced breast MRI
A breast MRI is performed when physicians require more information than a mammogram, ultrasound or a clinical breast exam can provide. As such, it is indicated in subgroups of women where it has shown a clear benefit.
Non-contrast-enhanced breast MRI is the imaging method of choice to assess implant integrity in patients with silicone breast prostheses. Although some implant ruptures are detected by mammography and ultrasound, non-contrast-enhanced breast MRI is the most accurate imaging test to determine the integrity of silicone breast implants. Patients with prostheses are also suitable for contrast-enhanced breast MRI examinations designed to detect breast cancer.
Breast MRI should not substitute mammography or ultrasound as some lobular cancers and ductal carcinoma in situ may not be seen with MRI.