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Screening Breast MRI

Call 315-735-7287 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

CMI is excited to announce the addition of a new exam called Abbreviated (AB) Breast MRI. 

Abbreviated Breast MRI detects more breast cancers than mammography in women with dense breasts.*


Abbreviated Breast MRI is a new low cost breast MRI developed for women who may have dense breasts and do not fall into a high risk category for breast cancer. It is an adjunct to mammography as a screening exam.

Although Mammography is the gold standard for breast cancer screening, it has limitations with dense breast tissue. Traditional Breast MRI is primarily used for determining extent of disease, monitoring response to therapy and screening high-risk patients.  AB Breast MRI was designed to provide screening for patients that are not considered high risk, but desire the additional screening. This exam is used in addition to mammography and ultrasound to better evaluate dense breast tissue. The exam is about 20 minutes long and does require contrast injection.  Women who meet the criteria below are eligible to receive an AB Breast MRI.

Criteria for Abbreviated Breast MRI:

  • Women who have had a negative mammogram (BI-RADS 1 or 2) within 11 months of the scheduled AB Breast MRI exam.
  • Patients who are asymptomatic (e.g., no lumps, discharge, or pain). No current breast symptoms, unless have already had recent diagnostic imaging.
  • Calculated lifetime risk less than 20% using a tool of the ordering physician’s choice.
  • Patients with a history of breast cancer who do not meet the criteria for supplemental screening with a conventional breast MRI and completed treatment more than 2 years ago.

The MRI Experience:

AB- Breast MRI takes about 20 minutes and is a painless exam. You will be lying face down in the MRI scanner. You will receive an IV injection of contrast. There is no ionizing radiation and there is no compression of the breasts.

Is it covered by insurance?

The AB Breast MRI is not covered by insurance at this time and it will be considered a self-pay exam.  The total cost of the exam is $350, and we will require payment at time of service.  Patients may use their health savings account to pay for their MRI.  Although it is a self-pay exam, we still require the patient to be screened as noted above and a providers order.  Patients or Providers should call St. Luke’s CMI directly to schedule the appointments. 

How to schedule an AB Breast Exam:

  1. Talk to your breast health provider. Ask them about AB-Breast and if it is the right exam for you. Healthcare providers will use a risk calculator to help to determine your lifetime risk for breast cancer. A recent mammogram is also required.

  2. Your healthcare provider can call us at: 315-735-7287 to speak to our Breast MRI team member to schedule the exam called: Abbreviated Breast Exam. There is no CPT code required to order the exam. Since this MRI is not covered by insurance at this time, insurance pre authorization is not required.
  3. Once we have received the referral from your provider, we will contact you to schedule your MRI. Breast MRI is done at our CMI St. Luke’s location, Utica, New York.

*JAMA, February 25, 2020: Comparison of Abbreviated Breast MRI vs. Digital Breast Tomosynthesis for Breast Cancer Detection Among Women with Dense Breasts Undergoing Screening.

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