Breast Ultrasound and MRI
Given the intricacies involved in reading breast ultrasound studies, our radiologists are specially trained to read and understand the range of breast findings through mammography and ultrasound, all with a spatial understanding of the lesion in the compressed breast and correlative physical examination.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive imaging modality. Unlike mammograms that use radiation (X-rays), MRI uses a magnetic field, radio waves and computer software to produce detailed pictures of breast tissue.
MRI of the breast is not a replacement for annual mammograms. It is used as a problem-solving tool following a questionable mammogram or ultrasound finding. Additionally, recently published American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines and a New England Journal of Medicine study support MRI screening as a supplement to mammography for women at high risk for developing breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society defines a woman as high risk if she has one or more of the following: BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation; a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, child) with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation; lifetime risk of breast cancer score greater than 20 -25 percent (based on accepted risk assessment tools); history of radiation to the chest prior to age 30; Li-Fraumeni syndrome; Cowden syndrome; or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba.
Breast Biopsies: Least Invasive Is Our Goal
Sibley's Sullivan Center for Breast Health in Washington, DC has emerged as a national model in providing expert care using the most minimally invasive breast imaging and biopsy procedures possible. Many advanced breast biopsy techniques are available to patients at Sibley. Your physician will discuss options for your specific situation.
Stereotactic breast biopsies are performed by Sibley breast surgeons and dedicated breast radiologists. Stereotactic breast biopsy uses digital mammography to position the biopsy needle with pinpoint accuracy while the woman is comfortably lying down.
Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy uses ultrasound to guide the biopsy needle into position. Its advantages are speed and comfortable positioning. All ultrasound-guided breast biopsies at Sibley are performed by our dedicated breast radiologists.
MRI-guided breast biopsy
: Dedicated breast radiologists have the greatest expertise in performing core biopsies with MRI guidance.
Using state-of-the-art digital equipment allows us to get information quickly, which streamlines the mammogram process for women. The use of digital equipment for mammograms has been shown to improve detection for women under age 50, premenopausal women and women with dense breasts.
Learn more about Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment at the Sullivan Center for Breast Health.