Changes in fibroglandular volume and water content of breast tissue during the menstrual cycle observed by MR imaging at 1.5 T

J Magn Reson Imaging. Nov-Dec 1995;5(6):695-701. doi: 10.1002/jmri.1880050613.


MR imaging at 1.5 T was used to investigate variations in breast parenchyma during the menstrual cycle. Seven subjects were examined twice weekly over at least one menstrual cycle. A three-point Dixon technique (TE = 19 msec, TR = 2000 msec) provided images of fat, water, and static magnetic field (Bo), from which two quantitative whole breast parameters were calculated: the mean relative volumetric water content, <WC>, and the mean volumetric fibroglandular fraction, <FV>. Four of seven subjects showed unequivocal cyclic variations in <WC> and <FV> consistent with expected histologic changes; <WC> and <FV> values were elevated during menses and reduced in mid-cycle. The maximum deviation measured for each of the four subjects was < or = 10% in <WC> and <FV> units. These variations probably do not influence significantly the clinical interpretation of unenhanced MR breast images. Quantitative measurements of breast parenchyma, however, should recognize these effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology
  • Adipose Tissue / physiology
  • Adult
  • Body Water / metabolism*
  • Breast / anatomy & histology*
  • Breast / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Menstrual Cycle / physiology*
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results