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MRI Screening

macdebbie Member Posts: 65

I have a new oncologist who I love. He ordered an MRI as I have dense breasts. Due to renal issues, he agreed to do the MRI without contrast. My breast surgeon also agreed with him and said it is not a great regular screening tool due to some worries of the potential for gadolinium accumulation in the brain.

I have read several studies comparing MRI with contrast and MRI without contrast, and the readability is very close, with far fewer false positives on the MRI without contrast.

When I got the to hospital today, they refused to do the MRI unless I would take the contrast. They told me that it would be "ineffective". That's not at all what the studies I have read state.

Are they just not up on the latest research? This is the local teaching hospital. Has anyone here had a screening MRI without contrast?


  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,154
    edited February 2022

    Two major hospitals that I've been to also refuse to do an MRI without contract. CT - yes, OK - but not MRIs.

  • Member Posts: 1,435
    edited February 2022

    The 3 hospitals I've had MRIs at do non-contrast MRIs for implant screening but not for breast cancer detection.

    There are preliminary studies that suggest that non-contrast MRIs can be very effective but the MRI machine itself is altered, so these are not standard MRIs and as I understand it, it's not something that any facility can just do. I believe that normal non-contrast MRIs are pretty useless for detecting breast cancer. When I had a non-contrast MRI a few years ago to check implant integrity, the report didn't even bother to say anything about the breast tissue.

  • jons_girl
    jons_girl Member Posts: 444
    edited February 2022

    ello here is a study people can ask to join see below

    they are studying this a lot I believe now. I was in a study a couple yrs ago. I had to have non contrast then the contrast because they were comparing.

    Beesie is correct. The machine is altered I think to do the non contrast mri. They call it DWI. As I recall it was very quick.

    I'm hopeful they will see that DWI works well and they will use that in the future for screening!

    That's one reason I wanted to join the study I was in. I don't think we should have to have contrast.

    I understand your concerns about contrast with mri. I have the same concerns.