Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Based on your mammogram and sonogram findings, or your breast cancer risk, your radiologist may recommend that you undergo Breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) for further evaluation. MRI produces detailed images using a combination of radio waves and magnetic fields. MRI examinations do not use ionizing radiation (x-rays).
MRI works by using magnets and radio waves to detect changes in the body, usually before and after the administration of a contrast agent. The signals are interpreted by complex computer systems that produce detailed images for a diagnostic radiologist to interpret.
MRI Breast Imaging
Image both breasts at the same time for superior comparison
Women’s Center for Radiology uses advanced software and methods (protocols) to achieve superior images for your radiologist to review. One advantage of choosing Women’s Center for Radiology for your breast MRI is our use of VIBRANT®, a specialized program that images both breasts simultaneously, reducing scan time and increasing accuracy during comparisons.
Spectroscopy reduces call-backs
We were the first facility in the area to employ GE Healthcare’s MR Breast Spectroscopy (MR BREASE®), a specialized program for patients with dense breasts and indeterminate mammograms. Breast Spectroscopy is used to define the extent of disease by looking at the chemical makeup of the breast.
Spectroscopy improves our ability to distinguish benign breast lesions from cancerous ones by showing elevated levels of choline, a strong indicator of malignancy.
Computer Assisted Detection (CAD) – a second look the first time
Merge Healthcare’s CADstream® software has proved to be an invaluable tool at Women’s Center for Radiology, and is a standard of care at our facility. Highly detailed images are presented in a logical order for your radiologist to review. The allows the doctor to compare prior examinations easily. CADstream examines the images and highlights any area which may deserve a closer look.
Of course this is a simple explanation for complex and highly sophisticated analysis software. Visit Merge Healthcare to learn more at www.merge.com
MRI is the most sensitive tool available for the early detection of breast cancer.
Women’s Center for Radiology is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) for MRI.
ACR Approved – Advanced Protocols – Superior Technology
We perform high-definition scans of the brain, abdomen, spine, and the pelvis. Our GE Signa HDX 1.5T MRI is one of the most advanced in Central Florida, and boasts a wide array of imaging capabilities. This is a ‘short-bore’ magnet, helping to eliminate the sensation of closeness found in other systems.
Assessing Lifetime Risk – The GAIL Model
There are many factors involved in calculating your lifetime breast cancer risk, including your age, family history, age of onset of menses, age at menopause, history of previous biopsies, and density of the breasts on mammogram.
Most risk assessment tools are based on the Gail Model, named after Dr. Mitchell Gail, who developed a method of combining these and other factors into a single number, expressed as a percent lifetime risk.
We will calculate your Gail Model Score and inform you of the result. If your radiologist feels that you might be at high risk for developing breast cancer based on the Gail Score and other factors, they may recommend a breast MRI evaluation. This information will also be included in the report of your mammogram and sonogram findings sent to your referring doctor.
The Gail Model is only one way to estimate breast cancer risk, and although very useful, does not include all circumstances that indicate increased risk. Some of the following indicate increased lifetime risk, regardless of Gail Model score, and are also indications for annual breast MRI evaluation:
- Personal history of breast or ovarian cancer*
- Strong Family History
- Carrier of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
- Relative who is a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 carrier
- History of Hodgkin’s lymphoma with radiation to the chest area
- Evaluation of silicone implants
personal history of breast/ovarian cancer, depending on other associated risk factors.
MRI evaluation for one or more of the above indications is usually covered by your health insurance. Unfortunately, MRI may occasionally not be covered by some insurance companies, despite clear American Cancer Society recommendations. We are available to help you with insurance issues, and can usually give you an indication if your insurance carrier might cover the procedure. Please call your insurance company, or our MRI coordinator at 407-581-4145 if you have questions regarding your coverage.
If you decide to have a breast MRI, based on our recommendation and your doctor’s advice, where you have it performed is very important. Breast MRI has been available for only a few years, and there is still wide variation in the quality of MRI equipment, the protocols used during the exam, as well as radiologist expertise in interpretation. Women’s Center for Radiology has state of the art MRI equipment, including MRI guided biopsy capability, and trained radiologists with extensive experience in MRI interpretation.
Preparing for Your Examination
- It is important that you accurately complete the MRI questionnaire (here) before your examination.
- Wear comfortable clothing without any metal buttons or zippers. All jewelry will need to be removed before entering the MRI suite.
- Metal objects of any kind are not permitted in the MRI scanning area. This includes watches, pens, cell phones, glasses, etc.
- Please let the technologist know if you have had any surgeries in the previous 6 weeks, as some procedures use metal clips which are not MRI approved.
- We recommend you eat lightly the day of your examination.