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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1992 Jun;158(6):1239-41.

The role of fine-needle aspiration and pneumocystography in the treatment of impalpable breast cysts.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor 48109.


Prior studies have suggested that the recurrence rate is lower in breast cysts treated by pneumocystography (injection of air into cyst cavities after cyst aspiration) than in cysts treated by fine-needle aspiration alone. To determine if this is the case for impalpable breast cysts, we reviewed the hospital records and mammograms of 38 women with 41 impalpable cysts. Mammograms obtained immediately after aspiration show that pneumocystography was successful in 18 and unsuccessful in 20 of the 41 cysts. Four cysts were excluded from the study: one cyst that recurred after aspiration and was sampled by biopsy and three cysts for which immediate post-aspiration mammograms were unavailable but which had recurred or persisted 3 years after aspiration. Review of follow-up mammograms made 4 months to 3 years after the aspiration showed that three (17%) of 18 cysts in the group with successful pneumocystography recurred and 11 (58%) of 19 cysts in the unsuccessful group recurred (p = .02). No difference was found in the number of recurrent cysts in relation to estrogen therapy or menopausal status. Our results indicate that impalpable breast cysts treated by pneumocystography are less likely to recur than are cysts treated by aspiration alone.

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