Patient COVID-19 Vaccination Status Important for Breast Imagers to Obtain
A recent article published by Diagnostic Imaging highlights four cases of patients presenting with seemingly telltale indicators of breast cancer. The study, published in Clinical Imaging, reviews these cases and explains how the vaccine caused the appearance of new unilateral axillary adenopathies in the patients.
Hyperplastic axillary lymph nodes are a common response to a vaccine, as it typically triggers a strong immune system response. This means that radiologists need to take this information into consideration when reading breast images and making their recommendations for follow-up, according to the research team.
Society of Breast Imaging Recommendations For Axillary Adenopathy Following COVID Vaccine
The Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) has also taken note of these cases, and recently published their own recommendations for the management of patients with axillary adenopathy following a dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine. These recommendations include:
- Collecting additional information on patient intake forms, such as:
- Vaccination status
- Location (side) of vaccination
- Date of vaccination
- Dosage number (first, second)
- Screening evidence of unilateral axillary adenopathy should be given a BI-RADS 0 and followed up with additional imaging.
- Consider a short-term follow-up of 4-12 weeks following the second vaccine dose.
- If adenopathy persists after follow-up, lymph node biopsy should be considered to rule out (or confirm) the presence of malignancy.
Collect Patient Vaccination Status in MagView
The MagView team has been proactive in addressing these scenarios in our software. We have collaborated with clients to quickly integrate relevant questions into patient surveys for COVID vaccine data collection. These answers are prominently displayed for the radiologist within their reporting workflow. This allows the radiology team to have visibility on the patient’s vaccine history and make appropriate recommendations in line with each individual’s circumstances.
Add Scheduling Recommendation to Reminder Letters
The SBI also recommends “If possible, and when it does not unduly delay care, consider scheduling screening exams prior to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or 4-6 weeks following the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.” A statement reflecting this recommendation can be added to patient reminder letters generated in MagView.
If you have any questions on how MagView can assist your facility in addressing these cases, please reach out to the MagView Support Department at [email protected] or 800.553.8996, option 2.
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