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Correlation between insulin resistance and breast elasticity heterogeneity measured by shear wave elastography in premenopausal women – a pilot study

Archives of Medical Science
Termedia Sp. z.o.o.
Publication Date
DOI: 10.5114/aoms.2011.26614
  • Clinical Research
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Introduction Recent studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between obesity, insulin resistance, increased insulin and insulin-like growth factor levels and the risk of breast cancer. Our study was aimed at exploring correlations between glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, obesity and quantitatively estimated breast elasticity in healthy women. Material and methods The pilot study included 37 premenopausal women aged 22-45 years who underwent B-mode sonography and real-time shear wave elastography. Blood was collected for fasting insulin and glucose, and HOMA insulin resistance index was calculated. Results The mean elasticity of glandular and fatty tissue measured in both breasts was 12.5 ±3.5 kPa and 10.9 ±3.7 kPa respectively. Insulin levels did not correlate with glandular tissue elasticity (Rs=–0.23, p=0.15), but nearly correlated with fat tissue elasticity (Rs=–0.30, p=0.06), in outer quadrants significantly (Rs=–0.38, p=0.02). Interestingly, a strong correlation of insulin and insulin resistance with elasticity heterogeneity was found in fatty tissue (Rs=–0.59, p<0.001 and Rs=–0.60, p<0.001 respectively). The heterogeneity of fatty tissue but not glandular elasticity also correlated with body mass index. Conclusions Insulin levels and insulin resistance correlate with breast fat tissue heterogeneity, but their role in breast pathology remains unclear.

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