What is involved in an MBI scan?

Molecular Breast Imaging involves the use of a radioactive tracer and specialised camera to detect breast cancers.

You will receive a small injection of a radiotracer into a vein in your arm.

The scan will be performed in a seated position.  Unlike mammography, there is no compression of the breast. Only light pressure is required to immobilise the breast between the two camera heads. Two 10-minute images will be taken for each breast in two different positions, similar to the views acquired in mammography. Additional views may be required for a clearer view or for women with large breasts.

There is a minimal dose of radiation exposure that is considered safe for screening purposes.

Allergic reactions to the radiotracer are extremely rare. 

Molecular breast imaging is not recommended for women who are pregnant.

If you are Breast feeding it is recommended that you stop Breast feeding for 12 hours after your scan. You may express and store milk for feeding your baby after the scan is completed.

After the scan

You will be able to perform your normal activities once your scan is complete.The Nuclear Medicine specialist will review your images. The results will be sent to your referring doctor. 

Your doctor may recommend additional testing if a suspicious area is found on your scan.

The scan may detect a lesion that is found not to be cancer after additional testing. This is called a false positive result.

As with all tests, there is a possibility that the scan may miss some cancers. Some are too small to be detected and others may be located outside the viewing area of the camera, such as those close to the chest wall.

Preparation for your MBI scan

A referral is required for an MBI can from your GP or specialist.

Molecular Breast Imaging is best performed in the first 2 weeks of your menstrual cycle.

Fasting for 4 hours prior to your MBI scan will ensure better image quality. It is fine to drink water and take medications. 

A Test That Finds 3x More Breast Tumors

Deborah Rhodes


This emerging technology developed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota has been available in the USA for several years, assisting doctors with the early diagnosis of Breast Cancer in women with Dense Breasts.

When used in addition to Mammography, MBI increases early cancer detection rates.

Studies have shown that the addition of MBI to screening Mammography leads to the detection of almost 4 times more cancers than Mammography alone.

While mammography is the standard of care in screening for breast cancer,  it is less effective at finding tumors in Dense Breast Tissue.

Early detection and treatment of Breast Cancer leads to improved outcomes and increased survival rates.

MBI can help to reduce unnecessary biopsies when Mammograms are inconclusive due to its high specificity.‚Äč

MBI Imaging Procedure