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J Ultrasound Med. 2000 Apr;19(4):257-62.

Metastatic tumors to the breast: mammographic and ultrasonographic findings.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.


We evaluated the mammographic (n = 16) and ultrasonographic (n = 15) findings of 18 patients with metastatic breast carcinoma. Fifteen patients showed multiple or diffuse lesions and three patients showed single lesions. Ten patients (55.6%) had bilateral lesions. Mammography revealed high density (15 cases, 93.8%), round to oval (11 cases, 68.8%) lesions with poorly defined or obscured margins (12 cases, 75.0%). No associated calcification was found in any lesion. Ultrasonographically, poorly defined (8 cases, 53.3%), irregularly shaped (8 cases, 53.3%), hypoechoic (14 cases, 93.3%), heterogeneous (8 cases, 53.3%) lesions were predominantly distributed superficially (11 cases, 73.3%). Axillary lymphadenopathy was detected in six patients (33.3%). The longest diameter of most of the lesions was less than 2.0 cm (13 cases, 81.3%). We conclude that metastatic tumors to the breast appear as relatively small, superficially located, poorly defined, irregular nodules without calcification on mammography and ultrasonography. However, when the metastatic lesion is diffuse, the appearance is indistinguishable from that of inflammatory breast carcinoma.

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