In breast cancer, lymph node status is highly related to prognosis. We evaluated the use of MRI of axillary lymph nodes (aLNs) to detect metastasis in pre-chemo breast cancer with PET as reference standard. For 4 readers scoring on T1-weighted DCE and T2-weighted MRI, the AUC, sensitivity, specificity and accuracy ranged from 0.73-0.85, 64%-83%, 54-91%, and 67-79%, respectively. Readers showed significant agreement (Spearman’s Rho 0.35-0.65). Though improvement is needed, this approach presents a less invasive method of assessing all aLNs and avoiding their unnecessary removal.