We measured breast density (BD) on MRI and correlated with endogenous hormonal levels.
Patients and methods
Twenty-four premenopausal women received four weekly breast MRI. A blood sample was collected on the same day of MRI. BD was measured using a computer-based algorithm. The generalized estimation equation method was applied to model mean fibroglandular tissue volume (FV) and mean percent density (PD) from predictor variables including estradiol, progesterone, and week during a cycle.
In week 3, a borderline significant correlation between estradiol and PD (r = 0.43, P = 0.04), estradiol and FV (r = 0.40, P = 0.05) and between progesterone and FV (r = 0.42, P = 0.04) was noted. The FV and PD measured in weeks 4 and 1 were higher than in weeks 2 and 3, adjusted for variation in endogenous estradiol and progesterone, indicating that the hormone change could not account for the changes in density. No lag effect of endogenous hormone on the change of FV or PD was noted (all P-values > 0.05).
Our results showed that BD is not strongly associated with the endogenous hormone. Their association with breast cancer risk was likely coming from different mechanisms, and they should be considered as independent risk factors.