Bioimpedence to Assess Breast Density as a Risk Factor for Breast Cancer in Adult Women and Adolescent Girls

  • Maskarinec, Gertraud (Epidemiology Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center) ;
  • Morimoto, Yukiko (Epidemiology Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center) ;
  • Laguana, Michelle B (College of Natural & Applied Sciences, University of Guam) ;
  • Novotny, Rachel (Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Science Department, University of Hawaii) ;
  • Guerrero, Rachael T Leon (College of Natural & Applied Sciences, University of Guam)
  • Published : 2016.02.05


Although high mammographic density is one of the strongest predictors of breast cancer risk, X-ray based mammography cannot be performed before the recommended screening age, especially not in adolescents and young women. Therefore, new techniques for breast density measurement are of interest. In this pilot study in Guam and Hawaii, we evaluated a radiation-free, bioimpedance device called Electrical Breast Densitometer$^{TM}$ (EBD; senoSENSE Medical Systems, Inc., Ontario, Canada) for measuring breast density in 95 women aged 31-82 years and 41 girls aged 8-18 years. Percent density (PD) was estimated in the women's most recent mammogram using a computer-assisted method. Correlation coefficients and linear regression were applied for statistical analysis. In adult women, mean EBD and PD values of the left and right breasts were $230{\pm}52$ and $226{\pm}50{\Omega}$ and $23.7{\pm}15.1$ and $24.2{\pm}15.2%$, respectively. The EBD measurements were inversely correlated with PD ($r_{Spearman}=-0.52$, p<0.0001); the correlation was stronger in Caucasians ($r_{Spearman}=-0.70$, p<0.0001) than Asians ($r_{Spearman}=-0.54$, p<0.01) and Native Hawaiian/Chamorro/Pacific Islanders ($r_{Spearman}=-0.34$, p=0.06). Using 4 categories of PD (<10, 10-25, 26-50, 51-75%), the respective mean EBD values were $256{\pm}32$, $249{\pm}41$, $202{\pm}46$, and $178{\pm}43{\Omega}$ (p<0.0001). In girls, the mean EBD values in the left and right breast were $148{\pm}40$ and $155{\pm}54{\Omega}$; EBD values decreased from Tanner stages 1 to 4 ($204{\pm}14$, $154{\pm}79$, $136{\pm}43$, and $119{\pm}16{\Omega}$ for stages 1-4, respectively) but were higher at Tanner stage 5 ($165{\pm}30{\Omega}$). With further development, this bioimpedance method may allow for investigations of breast development among adolescent, as well as assessment of breast cancer risk early in life and in populations without access to mammography.


Mammography;breast density;bioimpedance;breast cancer;risk assessment;adolescence


Supported by : National Cancer Institute


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