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J Clin Ultrasound. 2002 Jan;30(1):18-22.

Sonographic appearances of galactoceles.

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Department of Radiodiagnosis, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



The aim of this study was to investigate and summarize the sonographic appearances of galactoceles.


We retrospectively reviewed the sonograms and clinical records of 10 patients with galactoceles who had been examined over a 5-year period to evaluate breast lumps that had occurred during lactation or the puerperium.


Sonograms from all patients showed well-defined lesions with thin, echogenic walls. The internal appearances of the lesions included homogeneous contents with medium-level echoes in 6 patients and heterogeneous contents with fluid clefts and anechoic rims in 4 patients. Focal echogenic areas with distal shadowing were seen in 2 patients. Most of the lesions showed some distal acoustic enhancement, depending on the internal contents. The diagnosis of a galactocele was established by needle aspiration in 9 patients and by excision biopsy in 1 patient. Needle aspiration alone was therapeutic in 8 patients.


Galactoceles can have a wide range of sonographic appearances and can mimic other lesions of the breast, both benign and malignant. The clues to the diagnosis are recent childbirth and lactation and the presence of a well-defined lesion with some distal acoustic enhancement. Needle aspiration of the lesion is both a diagnostic tool and an effective treatment in most patients with galactoceles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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