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“AB-MRI,” also called abbreviated MRI or fast MRI, is a shortened version of breast MRI that is designed to screen for additional breast cancers not seen on mammography. Breast MRI has the highest cancer detection rate (CDR) of all breast imaging exams across all breast density categories. Traditionally, breast MRI has been reserved for high-risk women due to the cost, length of exam and availability of interpretation time.

AB-MRI detects biologically aggressive invasive cancers and high-grade DCIS at early stages. The sensitivity of AB-MRI is comparable to that of conventional MRI.

In a recent multi-center trial, significantly more invasive breast cancers were identified in women with dense breast on AB-MRI (17/17 women; 11.8 per 1000 women) as compared to digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) (7/17 women; 4.8 per 1000 women). AB-MRI also found more cases of DCIS than DBT. As with all screening exams, false positive findings on AB-MRI are expected to occur, but the positive predictive value is within the range considered acceptable for screening mammography.

AB-MRI imaging requires intravenous contrast administration and lasts 10-15 minutes. There is no radiation exposure or breast compression. It is not currently covered by insurance companies and requires an out-of-pocket expense. Moffitt offers AB-MRI imaging for $533.

AB-MRI Eligibility Criteria

• Women who have had a negative mammogram (BI-RADS 1 or 2) within 11 months of the scheduled AB-MRI exam.
• Patients who are asymptomatic (e.g., no lumps, discharge, or pain).
• Calculated lifetime risk less than 20%.
• Patients with a history of breast cancer who do not meet the criteria for supplemental screening with a conventional standard breast MRI and completed treatment more than two years ago.

Who does NOT qualify for AB-MRI?

  • Patients who have not had a negative or benign mammogram within 11 months of the scheduled AB-MRI examination.
  • Symptomatic patients (e.g., palpable abnormalities, nipple discharge, and/or focal breast pain).
  • Patients who are at a high risk for developing breast cancer (who should continue supplemental screening with standard breast MRI):
    • Calculated lifetime risk of developing breast cancer ≥ 20%
    • Disease-causing genetic mutation (e.g., BRCA, p53, PTEN, STK11)
    • First-degree relative with a known disease-causing mutation
    • History of prior chest radiation therapy before age 30
    • Hereditary or genetic syndrome associated with an increased risk for developing breast cancer (i.e., Li-Fraumeni, Cowden, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba Syndromes)
    • Personal history of breast cancer with dense breast tissue and/or diagnosed before the age of 50
  • AB-MRI should not replace standard MRI for follow up of a BI-RADS 3 (probably benign) assessment on the most recent prior MRI exam.

AB-MRI is offered at two convenient locations, including:

Moffitt Cancer Center at International Plaza
4101 Jim Walter Blvd., Tampa, FL 33607

Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Outpatient Center at McKinley Campus
10920 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612

To refer a patient to Moffitt for AB-MRI or any other diagnostic breast imaging service, complete our convenient online referral form or contact a physician liaison.


References: Sung, J.S. (2018). Abbreviated Breast MRI [White paper]. Society of Breast Imaging. 

Comstock, C.E., et al., Comparison of Abbreviated Breast MRI vs Digital Breast Tomosynthesis for Breast Cancer Detection Among Women With Dense Breasts Undergoing Screening. JAMA, 2020. 323(8): p. 746-756.