Background This study aimed to examine the association between preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and surgical margin involvement, as well as to determine the factors associated with positive resection margins in screen-detected breast cancer patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery (BCS). Methods Breast cancer patients eligible for BCS and diagnosed after biennial screening mammography in the south of The Netherlands (2008-2017) were retrospectively included. Missing values were imputed and multivariable regression analyses were performed to analyze whether preoperative MRI was related to margin involvement after BCS, as well as to examine what factors were associated with positive resection margins, defined as more than focally (>4 mm) involved. Results Overall, 2483 patients with invasive breast cancer were enrolled, of whom 123 (5.0%) had more than focally involved resection margins. In multivariable regression analyses, preoperative MRI was associated with a reduced risk of positive resection margins after BCS (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.33-0.96). Lobular histology (adjusted OR 2.86, 95% CI 1.68-4.87), large tumor size (per millimeter increase, adjusted OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.03-1.07), high (>75%) mammographic density (adjusted OR 3.61, 95% CI 1.07-12.12), and the presence of microcalcifications (adjusted OR 4.45, 95% CI 2.69-7.37) and architectural distortions (adjusted OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.01-3.40) were independently associated with positive resection margins after BCS. Conclusions Preoperative MRI was associated with lower risk of positive resection margins in patients with invasive breast cancer eligible for BCS using multivariable analysis. Furthermore, specific mammographic characteristics and tumor characteristics were independently associated with positive resection margins after BCS.