Breast MRI BI-RADS 3: Impact of Patient-Level Factors on Compliance With Short-Term Follow-Up

Emily B. Ambinder, Kelly Myers, Babita Panigrahi, Lisa A. Mullen, Susan C. Harvey, Jessica Hung, Eniola Oluyemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: A BI-RADS 3 assessment on breast MRI is given when a finding is estimated to have less than 2% chance of breast cancer. Patients in this category are typically recommended to return for a 6-month follow-up MRI. Compliance with this recommendation is low, and we aim to understand which factors are associated with compliance. Materials and Methods: All patients with an MRI examination given a BI-RADS category 3 between February 1, 2011, and June 30, 2016, were retrospectively reviewed. Patient demographics and breast-related medical history were extracted from the electronic medical record. Patients presenting for follow-up MRI between 3 and 10 months were considered compliant. Univariate and multivariate analysis was performed to identify which patient-level factors were associated with compliance with follow-up MRI. Results: Overall, 190 women with a BI-RADS 3 assessment on MRI were included in the study. Of these women, 106 were compliant with the recommended follow-up MRI (57.3%), 34 had delayed follow-up (18.4%), and 45 were noncompliant (24.3%). Reason for examination, personal history of breast cancer, and family history of breast cancer were significantly associated with compliance. Conclusions: We found that 75.7% of patients had a follow-up MRI after a BI-RADS 3 assessment, but only 57.3% were timely in their follow-up. Our data suggest that there may be subsets of patients who would benefit from additional support and resources to help increase overall compliance and timely compliance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-383
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020



  • BI-RADS 3
  • breast imaging
  • breast MRI
  • breast neoplasms
  • follow-up compliance
  • MRI utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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