Abbreviated breast magnetic resonance imaging (AB-MRI) exam

Abbreviated breast MRI, or AB-MRI, is a shortened version of standard breast MRI. Breast MRI is the most sensitive test available for breast cancer screening. Traditionally, it has been reserved for high-risk women. AB-MRI expands the availability to a wider population, including average and intermediate risk women, especially for those women with dense breasts.

Who is eligible?
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  • Women who had a negative mammogram within the last 12 months (BI-RAD 1 or 2).
  • Patients who have no symptoms (example: no lumps, discharge, or pain).
  • Patients with less than a 20% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. If you’re unsure of your risk, ask your provider to help you determine your personal risk estimate.
  • Patients with a desire for supplemental breast cancer screening and who do not qualify for a standard breast MRI.
Who is not eligible?
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  • Patients who have not had a mammogram performed within the last 12 months.
  • Patients with symptoms (such as: lumps, nipple discharge, and/or focal breast pain).
  • Patients at high risk for developing breast cancer (and should have standard breast MRI).
    • Patients with a 20% or more lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.
    • Personal genetic mutation with increased breast cancer risk (e.g., BRCA, p53, PTEN, CHK2, etc.).
    • Have a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, and have not had genetic testing themselves.
    • History of prior chest radiation therapy before age 30.
    • Have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, or have first-degree relatives with one of these syndromes.
  • Patients who are currently pregnant or unable to have a MRI exam.
What to expect
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  • Schedulers will inquire about your periods. If you are currently having regular periods, you will be asked to schedule at a specific time of your cycle. This will increase the sensitivity of your exam.
  • You will be asked to remove all metal and change into an MRI safe patient gown.
  • An IV will be started for the contrast or dye. Contrast is necessary for this exam.
  • You will be positioned face-down on a special MRI table that does not compress the breasts.
  • You need to remain still for the test which takes about 10 minutes.

  • The standard breast MRI exam length is around 30 minutes.
  • There is no radiation exposure or breast compression.

AB-MRI Diagnostic Machine
Is AB-MRI covered by insurance?
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  • No, AB-MRI is not covered by insurance at this time. Spectrum Health is offering this exam for a flat rate of $400.00. This fee covers all costs including the radiologist’s interpretation.
  • Full payment is needed before the test can be performed.
  • This exam will not be sent to insurance.
What happens after the test?
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The exam will be read by specialized breast radiologists. The physician who ordered the test will contact you with the results, and they will be available to you through MyChart.

What if something is found?
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If your exam is positive, you may be required to undergo further testing (mammogram and/or ultrasound), short-term follow-up AB-MRI, or biopsy.

Make an appointment

Find a provider or contact your primary care physician to get a referral and make an appointment.