Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field
and pulses of radio waves to make pictures of the breast. It does not use X-rays. MRI may show problems
in the breast that cannot be seen on a mammogram,
The MRI makes pictures that
show your breast's normal structure; tissue damage or disease, such as
infection; inflammation; or a lump. MRI is better than
mammography or ultrasound for looking at some breast
In most cases, a dye (contrast material) may be used so that abnormalities can be seen more clearly
from normal breast tissue. The contrast material makes it easier to find
problems with increased or abnormal blood flow, such as with some types of
cancer or areas of inflammation.
MRI is a safe and valuable test
for looking at the breast, but it has a high rate of
false-positive results, and it is more costly than
other methods and is not available in all hospitals.
See a picture
of a standard MRI machine .