News + Insights  |  May 18, 2023  | 

Abbreviated Breast MRI

Abbreviated Breast MRI (also known as Fast Breast MRI) is a complementary breast cancer screening tool available to women who have an average risk of breast cancer or who have dense breasts. 


Who should consider Abbreviated Breast MRI (AB-MRI) as a part of her breast cancer prevention?

Abbreviated Breast MRI (AB-MRI) is recommended for all women who have dense breast tissue or who have an average risk of breast cancer. It’s also a valuable scan for women who have:

  • An intermediate average lifetime risk of developing breast cancer and a traditional Breast MRI is either not covered by insurance or prohibitively expensive.
  • Breast implants and want a more detailed screening than a 3D mammogram.
  • Previously been treated for breast cancer, but are not actively receiving cancer treatment.

Why is a Fast Breast MRI better if you have dense breasts?

According to the American Cancer Society, breast density can increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Traditional Screening Breast MRI is a diagnostic tool that allows breast imaging radiologists to more easily identify early stage breast cancers, particularly in patients with dense breasts. However, traditional Breast MRI is expensive and is typically only covered by insurance for patients who have a significantly elevated risk of breast cancer. AB-MRI is quicker and less expensive, and offers a similar ability to detect small cancers.

Benefits of Fast Breast MRI

  • A fast and easy alternative to traditional Breast MRI.
  • The scan takes about 20 minutes. A traditional Breast MRI scan takes about 45 minutes.
  • It offers a higher cancer detection rate for average-risk patients and can identify extremely small cancers that cannot be found with 3D mammography or ultrasound alone.
  • It’s relatively comfortable and requires no patient prep. Patients lie face down and move through a large bore MRI machine for this exam.
  • When a traditional screening Breast MRI is not covered by insurance, AB-MRI offers a quality alternative for less cost.
  • Cash payment accepted for AB-MRI without requiring insurance authorization.

Fast Breast MRI vs. 3D Mammography

AB-MRI is meant to be used in conjunction with an annual 3D screening mammogram. Our breast imaging radiologists stand by the guideline that all women should have an annual 3D screening mammogram starting at age 40.

Fast Breast MRI offered at our Raleigh MRI Office

3811 Merton Drive, Raleigh, NC 27609
Monday – Friday 7:00am – 8:00pm
Saturday 6:00am – 7:30pm | Sunday 8:00am – 5:00pm

*An order from a healthcare provider is required

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