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Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 1996 Oct;17(5):476-93.

High-resolution MR imaging of the breast.

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Department of Radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


Investigation into the use of MRI as a breast imaging tool is ongoing. Several studies have shown that MRI is a very accurate imaging method for the identification of implant failure in the symptomatic patient with augmented breasts. In this clinical setting. MRI may be the study of choice. Imaging techniques, and the MRI appearance of normal and abnormal implants, are described. The use of MRI for the detection of breast cancer is not as straightforward. Preliminary results suggest that this technique can be used as an adjunct to mammography for the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. However, it is premature to draw firm conclusions regarding the role that MRI should play in the management of women with breast disease because of the wide variability of imaging techniques, protocols, and patient populations in the studies reported to date. In this overview, the current state of MR imaging of the breast is discussed. Technical requirements are described, and potential clinical applications- including the differentiation of benign from malignant lesions, breast cancer staging, detection of recurrence after breast conservation therapy, and detection of cancer in patients presenting with positive axillary lymph nodes with an unknown primary-are reviewed. Many of these potential clinical applications will require an accurate MR-guided biopsy system, and the implementation of such a system as well as its inherent limitations are discussed.

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