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Keywords:

  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI);
  • breast cancer;
  • breast-conserving surgery;
  • local recurrence

The use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer remains controversial. Here we review the current use of breast MRI and the impact of MRI on short-term surgical outcomes and rates of local recurrence. In addition, we address the use of MRI in specific patient populations, such as those with ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive lobular carcinoma, and occult primary breast cancer, and discuss the potential role of MRI for assessing response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Although MRI has improved sensitivity compared with conventional imaging, this has not translated into improved short-term surgical outcomes or long-term patient benefit, such as improved local control or survival, in any patient population. MRI is an important diagnostic test in the evaluation of patients presenting with occult primary breast cancer and has shown promise in monitoring response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy; however, the data do not support the routine use of perioperative MRI in patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer. Cancer 2014;120:120:2080–2089. © 2014 American Cancer Society.