Weight changes can influence tissue patterns of the breast seen on mammograms

Rachel F. Brem, Olga M.B. Gatewood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


For the purpose of describing the appearance of the breast in women with low body weight or after weight loss or weight gain, mammograms of 45 patients in whom low body weight or weight loss or gain resulted in alteration of the appearance of the breast were reviewed. Forty-one women showed low body weight or weight loss and four had gained weight. Ages ranged from 33 to 90 years (mean - 58 y). Forty-one women showed weight loss. Twenty-three were aged 60-90 years with 18 in their 70s and 80s and two in their 90s. Eighteen women were younger than 60 with four in their 30s. Four women showed weight gain; they were 44, 52, 53, and 55 years old. Low body weight and weight loss were associated with decreased breast size, decreased fat tissue, crowding of fibroglandular tissue, and increased breast density. Weight gain resulted in increased breast size, increased breast fat spreading of fibroglandular tissue, and decreased breast density. The authors conclude that low body weight and weight change may be cause of the changing appearance and size of breast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Women's Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Mammogram
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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