COVID-19 Vaccine-Related Adenopathy

This communication provides updated guidance from the Carol Milgard Breast Center (CMBC) regarding scheduling a screening mammogram or breast MRI during COVID-19 vaccination.

Background: There has been a reported increase in axillary lymphadenopathy following administration of the COVID-19 vaccination. To minimize unnecessary callbacks from screening mammograms, we recommend the following, as advocated by the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI):

SBI considerations for patients and providers scheduling a screening mammogram or breast MRI —

  • 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.

The following guidelines will be followed by CMBC for the management of axillary adenopathy in patients with recent COVID-19 vaccination:

  • The CMBC patient intake process will include questions regarding COVID-19 vaccination. To minimize patient anxiety, staff will start with the following introductory statement: Vaccines of all types can result in temporary swelling of the lymph nodes, which may be a sign that the body is making antibodies in response as intended.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes seen on screening mammography will be given a BI-RADS 0 assessment.
  • If there is a history of recent Covid-19 vaccination, further diagnostic imaging will be delayed 4-6 weeks after the second or last vaccine dose. Most lymphadenopathy associated with vaccination will resolve during this time.
  • If lymphadenopathy persists after follow-up imaging, percutaneous sampling will be performed to rule out malignancy.
  • If lymphadenopathy is found on clinical exam and there is a history of recent Covid-19 vaccination, consider delaying imaging evaluation until 4-6 weeks after the second or last dose as most lymphadenopathy will resolve during this time.

If you have any questions, please call 253.759.2622 to speak to our team.

Close Close Warning Message

Sign In

Close Warning Message