An Abbreviated Protocol for High-Risk Screening Breast MRI Saves Time and Resources

Susan C. Harvey, Phillip A. Di Carlo, Bonmyong Lee, Eniola Obadina, Dorothy Sippo, Lisa Mullen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Purpose To review the ability of an abbreviated, high-risk, screening, breast MRI protocol to detect cancer and save resources. Methods High-risk screening breast MR images were reviewed, from both an abbreviated protocol and a full diagnostic protocol. Differences in cancer detection, scanner utilization, interpretation times, and need for additional imaging were recorded in an integrated data form, and reviewed and compared. Results A total of 568 MRI cases were reviewed, with the abbreviated and full protocols. No difference was found in the number of cancers detected. Scan times were decreased by 18.8 minutes per case, for a total of 10,678 minutes (178 hours). Interpretation time, on average, was 1.55 minutes for the abbreviated protocol, compared with 6.43 minutes for the full protocol. Review of the full protocol led to a significant change in the final BI-RADS® assessment in 12 of 568 (2.1%) cases. Conclusions Abbreviated MRI is as effective as full-protocol MRI for demonstration of cancers in the high-risk screening setting, with only 12 (2.1 %) cases recommended for additional MRI evaluation. The efficiency and resource savings of an abbreviated protocol would be significant, and would allow for opportunities to provide MRI for additional patients, as well as improved radiologist time management and workflow, with the potential to add real-time MRI interpretation or double reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R74-R80
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Breast imaging
  • breast MRI
  • breast cancer
  • high-risk screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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