Original Article

Background Parenchymal Enhancement and Fibroglandular Tissue Proportion on Breast MRI: Correlation with Hormone Receptor Expression and Molecular Subtypes of Breast Cancer


  • Mesut Öztürk
  • Ahmet Veysel Polat
  • Yurdanur Süllü
  • Leman Tomak
  • Ayfer Kamalı Polat

Received Date: 01.09.2016 Accepted Date: 21.10.2016 Eur J Breast Health 2017;13(1):27-33


To assess the relationship between background parenchymal enhancement (BPE) and fibroglandular tissue (FGT) proportion on breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and hormone receptor expression and molecular subtypes in invasive breast cancer.

Materials and Methods:

This retrospective study enrolled 75 breast cancer patients who underwent breast MRI before treatment. T1-weighted images were reviewed to determine the FGT proportion, and contrast-enhanced fat-suppressed T1-weighted images were reviewed to determine BPE. Estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), human epidermal growth factor 2-neu (HER2) status, and molecular subtypes of the tumors were compared with the BPE and FGT proportions.


Women with high BPE tended to have increased rate of ER and PR positive tumors (p=0.018 and p=0.013). FGT proportion was associated with ER positivity (p=0.009), but no significant differences between FGT proportion and PR positivity were found (p=0.256). There was no significant difference between HER2 status and any of the imaging features (p=0.453 and p=0.922). For premenopausal women, both FGT proportion and BPE were associated with molecular subtypes (p=0.025 and p=0.042). FGT proportion was also associated with BPE (p<0.001).


In women with invasive breast cancer, both high FGT containing breasts and high BPE breasts tended to have ER positive tumors.

Keywords: Breast neoplasms, magnetic resonance imaging, molecular subtypes, enhancement, hormone receptor