Greater certainty thanks to magnetic resonance imaging
We are not satisfied until the results enable an exact diagnosis. That is why we also perform magnetic resonance imaging of the breast in addition to mammography and mamma sonography in individual cases to further clarify ambiguous diagnostic findings. Particularly in dense gland tissue, suspicious changes can often be detected more accurately and reliably with MRI. Breast MRI also plays an important role in the assessment of breast implants and surrounding gland tissue – assessability with conventional mammography is only possible here to a limited extent.
Recent studies have shown that, for some tumour types, breast MRI can find up to 50% more suspicious lesions than mammography and ultrasound. Therefore the expert association, American Cancer Society, recommends regular performance of breast MRI in high-risk patients (in addition to mammography if necessary) in its current guidelines for breast cancer diagnostics.
The examination is performed in our 1.5T or 3T high field MRI scanners at our München Zentrum (central Munich) and Lucille-Grahn-Strasse sites. The examination is performed in a prone position so that the breast glands can rest in special depressions. During the examination, a well tolerated gadolinium contrast agent is administered to you through a vein in your hand or underarm. The contrast uptake of the mammary gland tissue is observed for several minutes and analysed with the aid of appropriate software. This enables detection and further classification of conspicuous lesions.
Important: in women with regular menstruation, the examination should be performed between the 5th and 12th cycle day because the examination results can be assessed optimally and are most conclusive during this period. If hormones are taken (e.g. for menopausal symptoms), it may be useful to discontinue intake of the preparations prior to the examinations, with the exception of birth control pills.
Private health insurance providers in Germany usually reimburse the full screening examination costs. For patients insured under state/government insurance plans in Germany, breast MRI is covered by medical insurance only in a few exceptional cases (e.g. under certain conditions as part of aftercare or in case of proven gene mutation). MR mammography as part of screening is not reimbursed by statutory health insurance providers in Germany. If you have any more questions, we will be happy to assist you.