Mammographic Breast Density in Infertile and Parous Women

Meggiorini Maria Letizia; Vestri Anna Rita; De Stefano Maria Grazia; Cipolla Valentina; Bellati Filippo; Maffucci Diana; Nusiner Maria Paola; Aragona Cesare; De Felice Carlo


BMC Womens Health. 2016;16(8) 

In This Article


Background: Mammographic breast density is a useful marker for breast cancer risk, as breast density is considered one of the strongest breast cancer risk factors. The study objective was to evaluate and compare mammographic breast density in infertile and parous women, as infertility may be associated with high breast density and cancer occurrence.

Methods: This study evaluated mammographic breast density using two different systems, BIRADS and Boyd. A selected patient population of 151 women with primary infertility (case group) was compared to 154 parous women who had at least one previous pregnancy (control group). Both groups were premenopausal women aged ≥35.

Results: Evaluation of mammographic features showed that 66.9 % of case group patients and 53.9 % of control group patients were classified BIRADS-3/BIRADS-4; p < 0.05. Adjusted Odds ratio for the case group in the categories BIRADS-3/BIRADS-4 was 1.78 (95 % CI: 1.10-2.89). Using the Boyd classification system, 53.6 % of case group patients and 31.8 % of control group patients were classified E/F; p < 0.05. Adjusted Odds ratio for case group patients in Boyd categories E/F was 2.05 (95 % CI: 1.07-3.93).

Conclusions: Both systems yielded a higher percentage of increased breast density in the case group. Boyd and BIRADS classification systems indicate to what extend breast cancer lesions may be missed on mammography due to masking by dense tissue. Therefore, patients with a high BIRADS or Boyd score should undergo further investigation.