Role of MRI of the breast in the evaluation of the symptomatic patient

Mireille Van Goethem, Inge Verslegers, Isabelle Biltjes, Godelieve Hufkens, Paul M. Parizel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review

The role of MRI in breast pathology is still controversial. The technique has a high sensitivity for detection of breast carcinoma, but specificity is low. Therefore, it is only useful for right indications.

Recent findings

Studies are still performed to define the role of MRI. For diagnosis of a breast lesion, image-guided percutaneous core biopsy is the method of choice, and MRI is not indicated. It has a place in the detection of carcinoma in patients with nipple discharge. MRI has a role in the search of an occult primary breast carcinoma in patients with metastasis and primary unknown cancer. MRI is the best technique for locoregional staging of breast carcinoma. Its role in detection of recurrence is controversial, as image-guided biopsy has to be done if a suspicious lesion is seen. In dense breasts or difficult scar formation, MRI is able to detect recurrence. MRI is sensitive in detection of implant rupture in symptomatic augmented patients.


MRI has a role in well defined indications, but its role is still controversial even in some of these indications. MRI is not indicated in diagnosis in which image-guided percutaneous biopsy is the method of choice. Further studies must be performed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


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