The Value of MRI-Guided Biopsy


With its lack of ionizing radiation, MRI is not only a safe tool for biopsy guidance, but one of the most sensitive imaging modalities available to delineate abnormalities in soft tissue and bone marrow.

The technology’s multi-planar capability is helpful in performing biopsies in non-axial planes without the need for image reformatting.

Other imaging modalities are capable of evaluating structures similar to the way that MRI does, but MRI is also able to provide data useful in assessing functions such as temperature or velocity that are potentially crucial in monitoring an intervention.

Since the start of our Interventional MRI Program in April 2008 we have performed several hundred biopsies and other interventions.

We are continuously adding to our tools and techniques, such as tumor ablation and radioembolization, enabling us to provide an increasingly wide array of interventions. As part of our commitment to evolving and improving what we can offer patients, for example, we are collaborating with General Electric to design a new set of dedicated interventional surface coils that can facilitate MRI-guided interventions and improve visualization.

Biopsy in coronal plane.

Biopsy in coronal plane. A splenic lesion seen only on MRI.

Biopsy in sagittal plane.

Biopsy in sagittal plane. A caudate lobe liver lesion seen only on MRI.

Superior soft tissue resolution

Superior soft tissue resolution of MRI. Prone position. Biopsy of a proximal thigh mass (dotted green line) from a lateral approach as specifically requested by surgeon. The sciatic nerve (red arrow), to be avoided, is clearly visible.

Superior soft tissue resolution of MRI.

Superior soft tissue resolution of MRI. Prone position. Retroperitoneal mass biopsy. A specific sequence is used to delineate the adjacent vessels to avoid injury from needle. Bilateral common iliac arteries (red arrows) and IVC (blue arrow) are easily seen. No IV contrast was used.

Bone marrow abnormality seen only on MRI and PET.

Bone marrow abnormality seen only on MRI and PET. No CT abnormality. MRI- guided biopsy of left iliac bone in prone position.

Bone marrow lesion

Bone marrow lesion seen only on PET and MRI. No CT abnormality. MRI-guided biopsy of the left distal femur.