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Breast Imaging

Dynamic Breast MRI

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LHA offers Breast MRI to evaluate abnormalities detected by mammography and help identify early breast cancer that other techniques may not have detected. This procedure is used to check the exact whereabouts of each and every tumor before surgery to determine treatment and after surgery to make sure complete eradication of tumors has taken place. It is also commonly used to evaluate implants and make sure that everything is in the right place. This procedure is usually used for women who have dense tissues or a family history in order to detect breast cancer early through this procedure and aid the healing process significantly.
MRI with spectroscopy
Magnetic Resonance (MR) spectroscopy is a noninvasive diagnostic test for measuring biochemical changes and determining the presence of tumors. While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) identifies the anatomical location of a tumor, MR spectroscopy compares the chemical composition of normal tissue with abnormal tumor tissue.
MRI with Diffusion
A diffusion MRI looks at how water molecules move around within tissue making MRI sensitive to different properties. The analysis of the way water moves around in tissue depends on the cells in the breast. This is a very sensitive measure of what’s happening on a cellular and microscopic level.
Preparation

Preparation is the key to both your comfort and results when taking an MRI. Here are some of the elements you should watch out for when taking an MRI.

  • You can either wear a gown provided by the clinic or your own clothing as long as it is loose fitting and has no metal fasteners. Think sweatpants and a loose t-shirt.
  • Guidelines about eating and drinking vary with the specific exam; patients may follow regular diet and medications as usual unless specified by the doctor.
  • If the MRI requires an injection of contrast material into the bloodstream, the radiologist or technologist will ask for details of allergies of any kind, such as allergy to iodine or x-ray contrast material, drugs, food, the environment, or asthma. The contrast material most commonly used for an MRI exam is called gadolinium. Because gadolinium does not contain iodine, it can be used safely in patients with contrast allergies.
  • Be sure to outline medical history to your radiologist; they will need to know of any serious health problems or recent surgeries. Some conditions, such as severe kidney disease may prevent taking contrast material for an MRI.
  • You should always inform your physician or technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.
  • If you have claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) or anxiety, physicians can prescribe a mild sedative prior to the scheduled examination.
  • Jewelry and other accessories should be left at home if possible, or removed prior to the MRI scan. Because they can interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI unit, metal and electronic objects are not allowed in the exam room. These items include:
    • Jewelry, watches, credit cards and hearing aids
    • Pins, hairpins, metal zippers and similar metallic items
    • Removable dental work
    • Pens, pocket knives and eyeglasses
    • Body piercings
  • In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for the following:
    • Internal (implanted) defibrillator or pacemaker
    • Cochlear (ear) implant
    • Some types of clips used on brain aneurysms
    • Some types of metal coils placed within blood vessels
  • You should inform the technologist of electronic devices in your body, because they may interfere with the exam or potentially pose a risk. Some implanted devices require a short period of time after placement (usually six weeks) before being safe for MRI examinations. Examples include but are not limited to:
    • artificial heart valves
    • implanted drug infusion ports
    • implanted electronic device, including a cardiac pacemaker
    • artificial limbs or metallic joint prostheses
    • implanted nerve stimulators
    • metal pins, screws, plates, stents or surgical staples
  • In general, metal objects used in orthopedic surgery pose no risk during MRI. However, a recently placed artificial joint may require the use of another imaging procedure.
  • Patients who might have metal objects in certain parts of their bodies may also require an x-ray prior to an MRI. You should notify the technologist or radiologist of any shrapnel, bullets, or other pieces of metal which may be present in your body due to accidents. Foreign bodies near the eyes are particularly important.
  • Dyes used in tattoos may contain iron and could heat up during MRI, but this is rarely a problem.
  • Tooth fillings and braces usually are not affected by the magnetic field, but they may distort images of the facial area or brain, so the radiologist should be aware of them.

Procedure
This procedure is detrimental to efficient results. This is the exact process so you are adequately prepared:

  • A nurse or technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in the patient’s hand or arm.
  • You will be positioned face down on the moveable bed with breasts hanging into the cushioned openings. The bed will then be moved into the magnet of the MRI unit.
  • The radiologist and technologist will leave the room while the MRI examination is performed.
  • You will be required to lie still while the machine acquires the images. Imaging is done in sequences, each lasting between one and fifteen minutes. In between sequences, you can relax.
  • You will know when images are being recorded because you will hear tapping or thumping sounds when the coils that create the magnetic field are turned on.
  • After an initial series of scans, the contrast material is injected into the intravenous line. Additional series of images are taken following the injection.
  • When the exam is completed, you will wait a short time on the table while the images are evaluated to ensure no additional images are needed.
  • The intravenous line will be removed.

The imaging session lasts about 30 minutes.