For facilities accrediting the breast module under MR accreditation, there is no requirement for minimum field strength. However, the MR equipment must:
Have a dedicated, bilateral breast coil
Be capable of simultaneous, bilateral imaging
Meet all state and federal performance requirements, including those for:
Maximum static magnetic field strength
Maximum rate of change of magnetic field strength (dB/dt)
Maximum radiofrequency power deposition (specific absorption rate)
Maximum auditory noise levels
In addition, facilities performing breast MRI must have the equipment to perform mammographic correlation, directed breast ultrasound, and MRI-guided intervention, or must create a referral arrangement with a cooperating facility that could provide these services. The ACR strongly recommends that the cooperating facility be accredited by the ACR, and specifically, be accredited in the breast module under their facility’s MR accreditation. A contractual relationship with the facility is not required; the nature of the referral arrangement (whether contractual or less formal) is left to the discretion of the applying facility.
The ability to perform breast biopsy on-site, or at a cooperating facility is required because the ACR Committee on MRI Accreditation wants to ensure that women who have a suspicious finding under breast MRI are able to get a biopsy based on the results of the examination that discovers the finding. There are two key reasons for this:
Cost: There have been frequent reports of patients who needed a biopsy as a result of a diagnostic breast MRI at one center and could not have the biopsy performed at that center. They were then forced to pay out of pocket for a repeat breast MRI at another center, because these centers are often uncomfortable with the quality of exams performed at other facilities and do not feel that they can perform a biopsy safely without repeating the scan.
Patient Safety: Inability to schedule a biopsy in conjunction with suspicious findings could lead patients to forego a needed biopsy because of inconvenience or cost, or because a facility might fail to recommend a biopsy based on lack of equipment.
The ACR does not accredit breast MRI units specifically for breast biopsies. If you perform all breast imaging on one MRI unit and perform all breast biopsies on a different unit, the MRI unit that is used to perform breast biopsies is NOT required to undergo accreditation as part of accrediting the breast module under MR. For example, a facility may choose to perform biopsies on a hospital-based unit due to availability of code teams and surgical support, or may choose to perform interventional procedures on a 1.5T unit, while using a 3T unit for diagnostic breast MRI studies. In either case, the facility need only apply for accreditation of the unit used for diagnostic imaging.
For clarification of terms, consult the ACR's MRI Terminology Glossary.
Revision History for this Article
Description of Revision(s)
Article created; FAQs incorporated; No criteria changes
|11-9-2022||All||Wording clarifications related to MR/BMR merger|
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