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Insights Imaging. 2013 Oct;4(5):527-38. doi: 10.1007/s13244-012-0211-y. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Breast disease in the pregnant and lactating patient: radiological-pathological correlation.

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Memphis Radiological PC, Germantown, TN, USA.



Substantial physiological changes occur during pregnancy and lactation, making breast evaluation challenging in these patients. This article reviews the imaging challenges of the breast during pregnancy and lactation. The normal imaging appearance, imaging protocols and the imaging features of each commonly encountered benign and malignant entity with pathological correlation and supporting examples is described. An awareness of the imaging features of the breast during these physiological states and of various benign and malignant diseases that occur permits optimal management.


Evaluation of the pregnant and lactating patients who present with a breast problem is challenging. Although ultrasound may characterise the finding in many cases, mammography and even MRI may have a role in the management of these patients.


• To review physiological changes of the breast during pregnancy and lactation • To review imaging protocols of the breast during pregnancy and lactation • Discuss imaging findings with pathological correlation of benign and malignant diseases in pregnancy and lactation • Discuss pathological correlation of imaging findings in pregnancy and lactation.

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