PURPOSE: To evaluate the influence of menstrual cycle and age on parenchymal contrast medium enhancement in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the breast. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Dynamic gadolinium-enhanced fast low-angle shot, three-dimensional breast MR imaging was performed with high temporal and spatial resolution (eight measurements in 10 minutes). Menstrual cycle evaluations and age-influence studies were performed in 44 patients aged 27-55 years with a regular cycle (mean age, 41.5 years) and in 103 patients aged 15-79 years (mean age, 49.3 years), respectively. A region of interest was placed in each quadrant of the breast for evaluation of parenchymal enhancement. Quadrants with complete involution or lesions and patients who received hormonal therapy were excluded [corrected]. Analysis of variance was performed. RESULTS: Parenchymal contrast medium enhancement in cycle days 7-20 (geometric mean enhancement at minutes 1-10 = 0.12-0.47) was significantly lower than that in cycle days 21-6 (geometric mean, 0.17-0.98; P < or = .001). Contrast medium enhancement in patients aged 35-50 years (mean enhancement, 0.17-0.75) was significantly higher than that in patients aged younger than 35 years or older than 50 years (mean enhancement, 0.12-0.40; P < .01). CONCLUSION: Patients showed statistically significantly lower parenchymal enhancement in menstrual cycle days 7-20 than in days 21-6. Patients aged 35-50 years yielded higher parenchymal enhancement than did younger patients and older patients.

Article History

Published in print: 1997