Saba Sohail, Sunaina Anwar, Nasreen Naz Memon, Misbah Talpur




Objective: to determine the frequency of various breast parenchymal patterns on mammography and an association of the presence of a solid tumor with any pattern

Study design: analytical descriptive study

Duration and Setting: January 2009 to September 2010, at Radiology Department, Dow University of Health Sciences/Civil Hospital Karachi

Methods: Adult females diagnosed with single solid breast lesion placed in BIRADS category II-VI on mammography and ultrasound, were included. The parenchymal pattern of breast was classified into predominantly fatty (N1), < 25% glandular (P1), >25% glandular (P2) and very dense glandular tissue (DY) according to Wolffe’s classification. Those with multiple lumps, ductal dilatation, chemo or radiation therapy to breast, or recent hormonal or contraceptive use were excluded. The overall data was described as measures of central tendency and dispersion. Significance of association was determined using chi square test at P<0.05.

Results: There were a total of 76 patients with mean age of 47.6± 10.45 years; 74 (97.4%) were married with average parity of 4.5 ± 2.8 and 64 (84.2%) had lactated. Lesions included 65 (82.2%) carcinomas, 10 (10.5%) fibro adenomas and 01 (1.3%) lipoma. The distribution of parenchymal patterns was found to be 22.4% N1, 44.7% P1, 26.3% P2 and 6.6% DY patterns. There was a strong association of P1 and P2 patterns with solid breast lesions (p=0.024). The overall association of carcinoma with P1 and DY patterns was also significant (p= 0.041).


Scattered fibro glandular and heterogeneously dense mammographic parenchyma had a strong association with presence of solid malignant lesion in breast. These findings are incongruous with the reported patterns from the West and may represent inherent oncogenic characteristic in Pakistani ladies. 


Key words:

Mammography, breast parenchyma, parenchymal pattern, solid lesion, carcinoma, Wolffe’s classification

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