The role of breast MRI in breast cancer detection

Many countries now recommend annual MRI screening in conjunction with mammography for high risk groups. The only problem is that different countries define high risk differently. Medicare item 63464 can be used for the surveillance and diagnosis of women under 50 years of age at high risk of developing breast cancer, and who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. What about women not at high risk? Is there a role for breast MRI?

Multiple studies have demonstrated the ability of screening mammography to decrease breast cancer mortality. In most cases, breast MRI is used in addition to mammography, and has become a standard evidence‐based component of supplemental screening in conjunction with mammography because of its high sensitivity for detecting breast cancer.  The overall sensitivity of cancer detection with breast MRI is approximately 96% and the sensitivity increases if MR is used in conjunction with mammography and ultrasound.

This week we looked at a case study: