Does accelerated hypofractionated adjuvant whole-breast radiotherapy increase mammographic density or change mammographic features?

To compare mammographic features before and after accelerated hypofractionated adjuvant whole-breast radiotherapy (AWB-RT) and to evaluate possible appearance of modifications.
A retrospective review of 177 females before and after an AWB-RT treatment (follow-up ranging from 5 to 9 years) was performed by four radiologists focused in breast imaging who independently evaluated diffuse mammographic density patterns and reported on possible onset of focal alterations; modifications in density and fibrosis with parenchymal distortion were deemed as indicators of AWB-RT treatment impact in breast imaging.
Prevalent mammographic density (D) patterns in the 177 females evaluated were according to the American College of Radiology-Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (ACR-BIRADS): D1, fibroadipose density (score percentage from 55.9% to 43.5%); and D2, scattered fibroglandular density (from 42.9% to 32.7%). No change in diffuse mammographic density and no significant difference in mammographic breast parenchymal structure were observed. "No change" was reported with score percentage from 87% to 79.6%. Appearance of fibrosis with parenchymal distortion was reported by all radiologists in only two cases (1.1%, p = 0.3); dystrophic calcification was identified with percentage score from 2.2% to 3.3% (small type) and from 9.6% to 12.9% (coarse type).
No statistically significant changes in follow-up mammographies 5-9 years after AWB-RT were detected, justifying large-scale selection of AWB-RT treatment with no risk of altering radiological breast parameters of common use in tumour recurrence detection.
The hypofractionated radiotherapy (AWB-RT treatment) is a new proven, safe and effective modality in post-operative patients with early breast cancer with excellent local control and survival. In our study, the absence of changes in mammographic density patterns and in breast imaging before and after AWB-RT treatment (up to 5-9 years after radiotherapy) justifies large-scale use of AWB-RT treatment without hindrance in tumour recurrence diagnosis.
AuthorsSilvia Bagnera, Luisella Milanesio, Piero B Brachet Cota, Carla Berrino, Aldo Cataldi, Giovanni Gatti, Guido Mondini, Ovidio Paino, Erika G Comello, Renzo Orlassino, Massimo Pasquino, Domenico Cante, Maria R La Porta, Sebastiano Patania, Giovanni La Valle
JournalThe British journal of radiology (Br J Radiol) Vol. 88 Issue 1055 Pg. 20150312 (Nov 2015) ISSN: 1748-880X [Electronic] England
PMID26393385 (Publication Type: Journal Article)

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