UCSF Radiology Faculty, Trainees and Alumni Collaborate on Research Related to Breast Imaging for Pregnant Women

Headshot of Jamie Holtz, MD, UCSF Radiology Resident studying breast imagingBreast cancer is the most common malignancy in pregnant women, however there is limited data on breast imaging in symptomatic pregnant women at this time. A team of breast imaging researchers from the UC San Francisco Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and the Mayo Clinic Department of Radiology sought to change that. They set out to assess the value of targeted breast ultrasound for the primary evaluation of breast symptoms in pregnant women of all ages. Their research was recently published in the Journal of Breast Imaging.  

The retrospective study included all pregnant patients who underwent targeted ultrasound for focal breast symptoms at an academic imaging facility from 2000 to 2018 with a review of clinical, imaging, and pathology results. “To our knowledge, our study is the largest series on the evaluation of symptomatic pregnant women to date,” say the authors.

The work was led by Jamie Holtz, MD, UCSF Radiology resident with future plans to study Breast Imaging. Amie Lee, MD, associate professor, was corresponding author. Current UCSF Radiology Breast Imaging faculty also include Jessica Hayward, MD, Kimberly Ray, MD, Heather Greenwood, MD and Bonnie Joe, MD, PhD, section chief. Additional authors include former UCSF Radiology residents and Breast Imaging fellows Genevieve Woodard, MD, PhD, (now with Mayo Clinic Radiology) and Neeta Kannan, MD (private practice).

“Prior literature addressing this topic is sparse and consists of studies with comparatively low numbers of women diagnosed while pregnant,” continue the authors. “Most studies on the evaluation of breast symptoms have instead focused on postpartum lactating and breastfeeding women.” Their findings support the use of targeted US as the primary imaging modality for the evaluation of symptomatic pregnant women, regardless of age.

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