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  • Breast MRI

  • Rhode Island Hospital offers breast MRI, a relatively new procedure used to detect breast cancer and examine other breast abnormalities. Following are some frequently asked questions about breast MRI.

    • What is a breast MRI?
      Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets and radio frequencies, instead of x-rays to produce detailed images of the breast. MRI may be done with or without and IV injection of contrast (dye) depending upon the indication for the test. MRI does not replace mammorgraphy, but may be used if additional information is considered necessary by your doctor.
    • What is the difference between a breast MRI and a mammography?
      A breast MRI involves no radiaiton (x-rays). A mammography uses x-rays to examine the inside tissue of the breast.
    • Who qualifies for a breast MRI?
      Breast MRI candidates are:
    • What can a breast MRI show me?
      Breast MRI with contrast injection is excellent at detecting breast cancer and can find cancers in some women that may not be detected by other methods. Breast MRI without contrast is used for evaluating silicone implants to see if they are intact or reptured.
    • Are there disadvantages to a breast MRI?
      Although breast MRI has a very high percentage rate of detecting breast cancer, it may also detect other breast processes that are not cancerous. This may require a follow-up exam or biopsy for further evaluation. Breast MRI also cannot detect some early types of cancer, which is why it cannot replace a mammogram. There are some patients who cannot have an MRI due to implanted devices such as a pacemaker.
    • What the radiologist will tell you
      After having a breast MRI done, the radiologist will be able to tell you:

    For more information, or to make an appointment, please call the Anne C. Pappas Center for Breast Imaging at 401-444-7770, or e-mail