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Breast MRI Scan False-Positive Rate Drops on Repetition

Posted Date: February 03, 2011

Women who get breast MRI scans may have higher false-positives on their baseline studies, but those rates drop on subsequent scans, according to a study to be published in the April issue of Radiology.

Breast MRI exams are often more effective than mammography at finding suspicious areas in the breast tissue, however these findings are less specific — they can’t always differentiate between cancer and benign lesions, resulting in the need for additional testing. The authors concluded that the drop in the false-positive rate is because benign breast lesions examined as a result of a suspicious baseline study will be considered benign during subsequent scans, as long as the lesions remain stable. “False positives are a risk of the breast MRI procedure, but the rate decreases following the initial round of screening,” Dr. Mainiero, one of the study’s authors, said. “This information should provide reassurance for high-risk patients who are considering undergoing annual MRI screening exams.”

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