What Is a Screening Breast MRI?

ImageMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bones and virtually all other internal body structures. The MRI images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD.

An MRI of the breast offers valuable information about many breast conditions that cannot be obtained with other imaging methods, such as mammography or ultrasound. While it’s not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound images, it is a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities.

Download the Breast MRI Brochure to learn more about the procedure.

Learn more about MRI procedure preparation with our prep manual

MRI Benefits

  • Are a noninvasive imaging technique that does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation.
  • Have proven valuable in diagnosing a broad range of conditions.
  • Enable the discovery of abnormalities that might be obscured by bone with other imaging methods.
  • Use a contrast material that is less likely to produce an allergic reaction than the iodine-based contrast materials used for conventional X-rays and CT scans.
  • Are growing in popularity as an addition to traditional X-ray mammograms in the early diagnosis of breast cancer.
  • Have been shown to detect small breast lesions that are sometimes missed by mammography.
  • Can successfully image dense breast tissue, common in younger women, and breast implants, both of which are difficult to image using traditional mammography.
  • As an addition to mammography, have been shown to be useful in evaluating women at high risk for breast cancer.
  • If a suspicious lesion is seen with an MRI only, it can provide guidance for a biopsy.

What Is the Difference Between a Breast MRI and a Mammogram?

  Mammogram Breast MRI
Used for Screening specific breast problems Screening specific breast problems
Radiation Yes No
Widely Available Yes No
Injection Required No Yes
Covered by Insurance Usually Usually

Gwinnett Medical Center Imaging has multiple convenient Atlanta-area locations in Lawrenceville, Hamilton Mill and Duluth. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 678-312-3444.