When is a breast MRI needed?

UCSF Radiologist Dr. Bonnie Joe explains when it is appropriate to get a breast MRI.

Indications for Breast MRI

  • High Risk Screening
  • One time screen contralateral breast in patient with newly diagnosed breast cancer
  • Evaluation of extent of disease
    • Ex: Pectoral muscle invasion, multifocal disease
  • Axillary lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph nodes in the underarm) with unknown primary
  • Evaluation of treatment response in neoadjuvant population 


Chief of Breast Imaging
Professor in Residence

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