Background: While many studies have shown that hormones can influence background parenchymal enhancement (BPE) in breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), only few have directly address the effect of radiotherapy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of radiotherapy on BPE in breast MRI. Materials and Methods: A retrospective search identified 62 women with unilateral breast cancer who had a breast MRI both before and after radiotherapy following breast-conserving surgery. In our study, we assumed that systemic therapy affected both breasts equivalently. We rated the level of BPE of both breasts using a fourpoint categorical scale. A change in the level of BPE prior to and after treatment was compared in the diseased and contralateral breasts. Results: All patients received a 4256 to 6480 cGy dose of whole breast radiotherapy over 3-7 weeks. The mean timing of the follow-up study was 6.6 months after completion of radiotherapy. Although the BPE showed a decrease in both breasts after treatment, there was a significant reduction of BPE in the irradiated breast compared with the contralateral breast (1.18 versus 0.98 average reduction in BPE level, p=0.042). Conclusions: Radiotherapy is associated with decrease in BPE with MRI.
- Background parenchymal enhancement
- Breast neoplasm
- Magnetic resonance imaging