- When is the optimal time for MRI of the breast?
- Does the patient have to be prepared for the examination?
- How is the procedure performed?
- Is it necessary to use a contrast agent?
The ideal time for a MRI scan in women with regular monthly bleeding is from day 5 to day 15 of the menstrual cycle. The first day of bleeding is considered as the day 1.
Contrast media may accumulate in the normal breast tissue in women using hormone replacement therapy, making it difficult to interpret the examination findings. Therefore, it is recommended to discontinue the treatment for at least 4 weeks before the investigation.
MRI within 6 months after the surgery and 12 months after the breast irradiation is not recommended, as changes due to the healing process may result in false positive findings.
It is advisable not to eat anything at least 6 hours before the investigation.
Otherwise, general guidelines for MRI examination apply.
A peripheral access venous route (usually in the elbow pit) for contrast agent administration is established before the procedure. The radiographer will place you on the examination table in a supine position. The breasts will then be put in a coil opening used for breast examinations. You will be provided with earphones for hearing protection as loud noises are generated during the investigation. You will hold a bell in your hand to use it if any problems occur during the procedure to alert the radiographer.
It is of particular importance that you remain completely still during the investigation as the movements impair the image quality!
The examination lasts between 30 and 40 minutes.
Yes, intravenous contrast agent has to be used for breast MRI.