Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Breast
you may have metal fragments in your eyes, an MRI can cause damage to the
retina. If there is a concern about metal fragments in
the eye, most MRI clinics will do X-rays of the eyes before the MRI. If metal
is found on the X-ray, the MRI will not be done.
Iron pigments in
tattoos or tattooed eyeliner can cause skin or eye irritation problems.
An MRI can cause a burn with some medicine patches. Be sure to tell your
doctor if you are wearing a patch.
Contrast material that contains gadolinium may cause a
serious problem (called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis) in people who have
There is a small risk of having
allergic reaction if contrast material is used during
the MRI scan. Most reactions are mild and can be treated with medicine. There
is also a small risk of infection at the IV site.
An MRI may be more likely than other tests to report a problem in the breast when a problem is not there (false-positive). A false-positive result may lead to more tests such as a biopsy when no serious problem is really present. So MRI is not used as a
screening test for women at low or average risk for breast cancer.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio waves to make
pictures of the breast.
radiologist may discuss the results of the MRI with
you right after the test. Complete results are usually available to your doctor
in 1 to 2 days.
An MRI scan can sometimes find a problem in a
breast, even when the size and shape of the breast looks normal.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast
| Normal: |
The breast tissue looks normal in size,
shape, and appearance.
No solid masses are present.
A breast implant is intact.
No signs of inflammation or infection are
| Abnormal: |
Solid masses are
Signs of infection or inflammation are
A breast implant is ruptured.
Underarm lymph nodes do not look
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Pregnancy. An MRI test usually is not done
during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, an ultrasound test may be done
- Medical devices that have metal, such as a
pacemaker or an
ICD. These devices may not function properly or can
cause problems during an MRI scan.
- Other types of metal, such as
surgical clips. If these will interfere with a breast MRI, the test will not be
- Inability to remain still during the
- Being very overweight. This may affect your ability to fit
into the opening of some standard MRI machines.