Mammographic density changes in surgical weight loss-an indication for personalized screening

Natalia Partain, Ali Mokdad, Nancy Puzziferri, Jessica Porembka, Stephen Seiler, Alana Christie, Deborah Farr, Aeisha Rivers, A. Marilyn Leitch, Rachel Wooldridge, James Huth, Roshni Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Obesity and high radiologic breast density independently increase breast cancer risk. We evaluated the effect of surgical weight loss on mammographic density (MD). Methods: Patients undergoing bariatric surgery and screening mammography (MG) were identified, data regarding demographics, comorbidities, calculated and genetic breast cancer risk was collected. Patients had a MG before and after surgery. Fellowship-trained breast radiologists assigned Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System density categories. Results: Patients underwent sleeve gastrectomy (n=56) or gastric bypass (n=7), 78% had hypertension, 48% had diabetes. Four had deleterious BRCA mutations, four were calculated high risk. Mean weight loss=28.7kg. Mean initial BMI=44.3kg/m2 (range:33-77), final BMI=33.6kg/m2 (range:20-62;p<0.01). Density was unchanged in 53, decreased in 1, increased in 9. Of these 9(14%), 5 changed from almost entirely fatty to scattered MD, and 4 changed from scattered MD to heterogeneously dense. Mean weight loss of the 9 with increased MD was greater than the cohort (37.7vs.28.7kg;p<0.01). Conclusions: Surgical weight loss increased MD in 14%. Increased MD masks malignancies, patients may benefit from additional screening based on calculated risk assessments that include MD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
JournalBMC Medical Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 9 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Breast cancer
  • Mammographic density
  • Surgical weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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