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Breast Imaging

E3304. Artifacts in Breast MRI

Gunduru M,  Mohandas A,  Daruwalla V,  Raval K,  Grigorian C. Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Address correspondence to M. Gunduru (mgunduru@dmc.org)

Background Information: The use of technically demanding breast MRI has been increasing over the past few years. Patient and technical factors may lead to unwanted artifacts at breast MRI, degrading the image quality. Once they are recognized, many of these artifacts can be corrected. In this educational exhibit, we provide a comprehensive review of breast MRI technique, various factors resulting in artifacts and alternatives to minimize artifacts and improve the quality of images.

Educational Goals/Teaching Points: This exhibit will review the technical requirements for optimal breast MRI and present common artifacts seen on breast MRI. We describe the alternatives to overcome artifacts and optimize MRI of the breast.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques: MR is an excellent modality for breast imaging. Use of a properly functioning high-field-strength MRI system, a dedicated bilateral breast coil and an optimal imaging protocol will aid in performing high-quality breast MRI. Common artifacts seen include motion, suboptimal fat suppression, metallic susceptibility, phase wrap, radiofrequency noise, and chemical shift. Protocol monitoring is essential for minimizing artifacts and optimizing breast MRI.

Conclusion: MRI of the breast has been increasing for a few years. It is used to screen women at high risk for breast cancer, evaluate the extent of cancer following diagnosis, or further evaluate abnormalities seen on mammography. It is essential for radiologists to identify the various artifacts and become familiar with the alternatives to overcome those artifacts and improve the image quality for accurate interpretation.