Mammographic density variation in users and nonusers of hormonal replacement therapy

Objective: to compare mammographic density changes, case by case, according to image digitization in three consecutive evaluations of users or nonusers of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). Methods: 59 postmenopausal women were evaluated, 43 being users of cyclic or continuous estro-progestin hormonal replacement therapy, and 16 nonusers. The criteria of inclusion were: amenorrhea for at least 12 months, a normal mammographic examination at the beginning of the HRT (users) or the clinical follow-up without HRT (nonusers), at two incidences (mediolateral and craniocaudal). The following variables were used for the evaluation of mammary density: initial change - the difference between the first mammography after HRT performed in 12 ± 3 months and the mammography performed before HRT-and final change - the difference between the second mammography after HRT performed in 24 ± 3 months and the mammography performed before HRT. Wilcoxon and c² tests were used in order to evaluate the differences in mammographic density changes. Results: more than half (56.3%) of the women, HRT users with initial increase in mammographic density remained with the increase after the final evaluation. This finding was not significant (p=0.617). In the same group, the initial nonincrease was significantly associated with the final nonincrease (p=0.017). Among the nonusers, all breasts that were not totally fat at the initial evaluation presented a mammographic density decrease at the final evaluation. Conclusions: the majority of HRT users presenting mammographic density increase at the first evaluation, after approximately one year of use, remained with the increase at a second evaluation. After some time, the nonusers tended to present a significant mammographic density decrease (p=0.003).

Menopause; Mammography; Breast; Hormonal replacement therapy


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