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Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 2003 Feb;24(1):45-54.

Screening for breast cancer with MRI.

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Department of Radiology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Breast MRI has emerged as an extremely powerful tool in breast imaging. The use of breast MRI for cancer detection has the potential to change our current algorithms in the detection of breast cancer. By being able to detect cancer that is occult on conventional imaging, such as mammography and sonography, MRI can detect early breast cancer that was previously unseen by conventional imaging. This article reviews the experience of screening breast MRI in the high-risk population. It also reviews the limitations associated with its use. Before breast MRI can be used in the clinical setting, an ability to localize or biopsy MRI detected lesions that are occult on mammography and ultrasound is needed and must be available for these patients. Although the robustness of this technique has generated considerable enthusiasm, our perspective should be tempered by the fact that many questions remain unanswered regarding the use of breast MRI for screening in the nonhigh risk population as well as integration of breast MRI into clinical practice.

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