For your convenience, we have two MRI scanners that offer the latest in high-field technology; a GE Optima 1.5 Tesla as well as a GE Signa HDx 3.0 Tesla. The American College of Radiology accredits all our scanners, giving you peace of mind that you are receiving the best study possible.
A PIC radiologist will review your MRI images, compare them to previous pertinent films you may have had, and interpret what s/he sees. The radiologist will then dictate a report, which will be transcribed and sent to the clinician who ordered your exam. Please contact your clinician for the results of your MRI test. Some clinicians may want to see a CD of the images as well as the written results, so please let your technologist know before your scan begins.
Patients who will be getting an MRI that includes an intravenous injection of a contrast agent called gadolinium may need to have a recent BUN/Creatinine test available for clinical review. Your provider may be asked to order this lab test for you, so that the results are available before your actual MRI scan. The test results can be available in about an hour if performed at a nearby Providence Laboratory.
Patients with a history of:
- Renal disease (including solitary kidney, renal transplant, renal tumor)
- Severe hepatic disease/liver transplant/pending liver transplant
- Age over 60
- In addition, any patient who has a history of GFR that is under 40 (within the last 60 days) must have a GFR within 24 hours of the contrasted exam.
MRI of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging but rather is a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities.
MRI is used to:
- Evaluate abnormalities detected by mammography
- Identify early breast cancer not detected through other means, especially in women at high risk for breast cancer who have been evaluated by a genetic counselor - see "Screening Breast MRI" below
- Determine the integrity of breast implants
- Assess multiple tumor locations
- Look for multiple tumors prior to breast conservation surgery
- Determine how much cancer has spread beyond the surgical site after a breast biopsy or lumpectomy
- Provide additional information on a diseased breast to make treatment decisions
By comparing breast images taken before and after contrast material injection, an MRI exam can determine:
- If there are breast abnormalities
- Whether an abnormality looks benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous)
- The size and location of any abnormality that looks malignant
- The presence of enlarged lymph nodes
MRI of the breast is not appropriate for all women. If you have questions, please contact our on-site nurse.
All breast MRI requests are reviewed by the radiologist prior to scheduling. Here is what they look for when assessing a request for screening breast MRI:
- Lifetime risk of 20% or greater*
- Recent mammogram and other breast studies as indicated
- Hormone use – all exogenous estrogen must be stopped for at least 3 months
- Menstrual cycle – MRI scan is performed on day 7-14
- Any concerns should receive a complete work-up prior to considering MRI
* Screening MRI is recommended for patients with a lifetime risk of 20% or greater. Risk must be quantified using a breast cancer risk assessment tool. Patients referred for high-risk screening MRI are asked to visit with a genetic counselor for a risk assessment.