Normal Axillary Lymph Node Variability Between White and Black Women on Breast MRI.
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to determine if there were differences in the imaging features of normal lymph nodes between white and black women using magnetic resonance imaging. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Following institutional review board approval, we identified white and black women who underwent breast magnetic resonance imaging from November 1, 2008 to December 31, 2013 at our institution. To identify normal lymph nodes for measurement, patients with any benign or malignant causes for lymph node enlargement and patients with any subsequent breast cancer in the following 2 years were excluded. Black and white women were age matched at a 1:2 ratio. The largest lymph node in each axilla was measured for the long-axis length and maximal cortical thickness. Comparisons were made between white and black women using a conditional logistic regression to control for matching. RESULTS: There were 55 black women and 110 white women for analysis. The mean lymph node long-axis length was 14.7 ± 5.3 mm for black women and 14.4 ± 6.4 mm for white women (P = .678). The mean maximum cortical thickness was 3.3 ± 1.6 mm for black women and 2.6 ± 1.4 mm for Caucasian women (P < .001). A significantly higher percentage of black than white women had cortical thicknesses greater than threshold values of 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 mm (P < .01 for all). CONCLUSIONS: The normal lymph node cortical thickness in black women is significantly greater than in white women, which should be considered when deciding to recommend a lymph node biopsy.
Grimm, LJ; Viradia, NK; Johnson, KS
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