Reducing False Negatives in Biopsy of Suspicious MRI Findings

Lilian C. Wang*, Sandra Rao, David Schacht, Sonya Bhole

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Breast MRI is a highly sensitive imaging modality that often detects findings that are occult on mammography and US. Given the overlap in appearance of benign and malignant lesions, an accurate method of tissue sampling for MRI-detected findings is essential. Although MRI-directed US and correlation with mammography can be helpful for some lesions, a correlate is not always found. MRI-guided biopsy is a safe and effective method of tissue sampling for findings seen only on MRI. The unique limitations of this technique, however, contribute to false negatives, which can result in delays in diagnosis and adverse patient outcomes; this is of particular importance as most MRI examinations are performed in the high-risk or preoperative setting. Here, we review strategies to minimize false negatives in biopsy of suspicious MRI findings, including appropriate selection of biopsy modality, use of meticulous MRI-guided biopsy technique, management after target nonvisualization, assessment of adequate lesion sampling, and determination of radiology-pathology concordance. A proposed management algorithm for MRI-guided biopsy results will also be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-610
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Breast Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023


  • biopsy
  • breast MRI
  • false-negative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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