Study Highlights Use of Contrast-Enhanced Mammography in Women with Breast Implants

In a new study involving 198 contrast-enhanced mammography exams in 104 women with breast implants, researchers noted that only one patient had a complication.

For women with breast implants, new research suggests that contrast-enhanced mammography (CEM) can be a viable screening option with negligible side effects.

In a recently published study in Clinical Imaging, researchers performed 198 CEM exams in 104 women with breast implants. The researchers noted that 67 percent of the women had silicone implants, 31 percent had saline implants and two percent had both. Ninety percent of the study cohort had subpectoral implants and 10 percent had retroglandular implants, according to the study. The study authors also pointed out that 93 percent of the study participants had dense breasts.

The study authors noted no complications in 99.5 percent of the CEM exams. While one patient had mild vasovagal symptoms after contrast administration, the researchers said she was able to complete the mammography exam.

“(Contrast-enhanced mammography) is technically feasible and may serve as a good alternative for those women at increased risk who cannot undergo screening with MRI,” summarized Maxine S. Jochelson, M.D., chief of the Breast Imaging Service at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and colleagues.

(Editor's note: For related content, see "Current Insights on Breast Density, Contrast-Enhanced Mammography and Supplemental Breast Cancer Screening" and "Key Considerations with Implementing Contrast-Enhanced Mammography in Your Practice.")

Out of the nine CEM exams performed to assess the extent of breast cancer after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, the study authors noted the CEM findings were in concordance with contrast-enhanced breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) obtained within a seven-day window in these patients.

Acknowledging a small cohort size and a variety of CEM indications ranging from screening to post-chemotherapy assessment, Jochelson and colleagues said future research is necessary to clarify the effectiveness of CEM in patients with breast implants.