Mammographic breast density as a predictor of radiological findings requiring further investigation

Avinoam Nevler*, Esther Shabtai, Danny Rosin, Aviad Hoffman, Mordechai Gutman, Moshe Shabtai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: High density breast mammography has been associated with a greater risk for breast cancer and an increased likelihood of false negative results. Objectives: To assess whether the degree of mammographic breast density correlates with increased risk for the presence of radiographic findings requiring further histological investigation. Methods: Included in the study were 2760 consecutive screening mammograms performed in a large volume, early detection mammography unit. All mammograms were complemented by high resolution ultrasound and interpreted by a single expert radiologist. Breast density (BD) was evaluated using a semi-quantitative 5 grade scale and grouped into low breast density (LBD) and high breast density (HBD) mammograms.Demographic and all relevant obstetric, personal and family history of breast cancer data were recorded. Results: Of the 2760 mammograms 2096 (76%) were LBD and 664 (24%) were HBD. Mean age of the LBD and HBD groups was 59 ± 10.5 and 50.9 ± 9.3 years respectively (P = 0.001). Breast density significantly correlated with presence of mammographic findings requiring further histological assessment (8.7% and 12.3% for LBD and HBD respectively, P < 0.01). In women younger than 60 years in whom histological assessment was required due to these findings, malignant pathology was significantly more prevalent in the HBD group (2.3% and 4.1% respectively, P = 0.03). Age, parity, patient history and HBD were identified as independent risk factors for any pathological mammographic finding. Conclusions: Highly dense mammography, aside from being an indicator of higher risk for breast cancer, appears to be associated with a significantly higher incidence of findings that will prompt further investigation to achieve a definite diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-35
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume18
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Breast
  • Breast neoplasm
  • Mammographic density
  • Risk factors

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