Abbreviated Breast MRI

Abbreviated Breast MRI

Abbreviated breast MRI is a shorter version of full diagnostic MRI and is used for screening. It has been proven to be equally effective as the diagnostic MRI and involves no radiation. Importantly, no breast compression is required.

Your doctor may recommend an abbreviated breast MRI in the following circumstances:

  • If you are at medium risk of developing breast cancer
  • If you have dense breast tissue which limits the visibility of cancer on a mammogram
  • Follow up imaging after treatment of breast cancer
  • Personal choice. You may choose to undergo breast imaging assessment in this way, following discussion with your doctor.

You are required to fast 2 hours prior to the appointment from food and water.

When your appointment is made, you will be asked a series of questions relating to metal in your body and metallic implants. Most implants can safely enter an MRI, but on occasion we may need to obtain further information about the type of implant you have, to confirm your safety prior to the appointment. If you have significant renal impairment (poor kidney function), you are pregnant/ breastfeeding or if you have had a previous allergy/reaction to Gadolinium dye, please inform our staff at the time of booking.

The whole procedure takes approximately 30 minutes, however you will only be in the scanner for approximately 10-15 minutes.

MRI scans are very detailed images acquired using a strong magnet (3 Tesla) in conjunction with radio frequency waves. The scanner makes a series of loud tapping noises as it acquires images. You’ll be provided with earplugs and/or headphones to help reduce the noise. Upon arrival you’ll be asked to remove all metal and to change into a gown. A small intravenous line will be placed in your arm for the injection of MRI contrast dye called Gadolinium. The scan is performed with you lying face down on the MRI table (like a massage table) which then slides into the donut shaped scanner. It is very important to remain as still as possible, so we can obtain the clearest possible images.

Your MRI will undergo further processing and a detailed report will be prepared for your referring Doctor. This will usually be done within the next 2 days. Some abbreviated breast MRI findings may need further evaluation, usually with ultrasound/biopsy.

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