Burning of an ulcerated breast cancer during MRI: A lesson to be learned
W. A.A Tjalma
Medical Coordinator of the University Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic Antwerpen.
Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic - Gynaecologic Oncology, Deputy Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital Antwerp and University of Antwerp, Edegem, Belgium, BE
The use of a breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the evaluation of cancer is increasing. The absolute contraindications for MRI are well known. Lesser know are the thermal injuries or burns caused by MRI. During a recent breast MRI of a patient with an ulcerated locally advanced breast cancer we did a remarkable observation. Almost directly from the start of the MRI the patient felt a slowly increasing excitation in the left breast together with a warm feeling. Within a few minutes she had the feeling that her left breast was burning. The MRI was stopped and the burning sensation diminished. The MRI was cancelled and no direct cause was found. It was only the next day during the ward round when inspecting her wound that we realized that the zinc oxide ointment, which was used for her wound care, was the likely course of her burning.