Purpose: Cystic breast lesions with a nonsimple appearance, either complicated or complex, pose unique diagnostic difficulties, in part owing to their potentially malignant nature. Current ultrasound classification systems are based on morphostructural aspects only. The objective of this paper is to highlight the adjunctive role of Doppler techniques. Materials and methods: Over a 1-year period, we prospectively evaluated 45 women with atypical breast cysts of type IV, V or VI according to the Chang classification. Forty patients were symptomatic, whereas the cyst was discovered as an incidental finding in five cases. Our assessment included morphostructural, angioarchitectural and flowmetric aspects. Results: Twenty-three nontumoural lesions were managed conservatively. All 19 type-IV cysts and all four type-V cysts according to the Chang classification showed absence of signal flow at colour Doppler imaging. Among the 22 tumoural lesions, there were eight papillomas, one atypical ductal hyperplasia and 13 carcinomas. The eight papillomas showed single (four cases) or multiple (four cases) mural projections. The atypical ductal hyperplasia showed a single parietal nodule. Among the 13 carcinomas, patterns included mural projections in 11 cases, eccentric cystic wall thickening in one and coarse intracystic septa in one. Cystic content appeared clear in six papillomas and in the case of atypical ductal hyperplasia, whereas it exhibited fine echoes in two papillomas. Among the carcinomas, cystic content showed coarse echoes in two cases and fine echoes in 11. Intralesional calcifications were seen in three carcinomas. Posterior enhancement was present in all carcinomas, whereas none showed posterior shadowing. In three carcinomas, some small solid satellite nodules were evident. Colour Doppler imaging showed lack of flow in four papillomas and subtle flow in the remaining four papillomas and in the atypical ductal hyperplasia. All 13 carcinomas showed diffuse vascularity, with multiple sparse vessels and multiple vascular poles. The resistive index, measurable in 4/8 papillomas, was 0.43 on average. Spectral analysis was measured in all carcinoma cases, yielding a mean resistive index of 0.71. Conclusions: Intracystic breast tumours exhibit distinctive morphostructural and colour Doppler features that allow effective differentiation from nontumoural cysts. Frequently, a presumptive differentiation between papillomas and carcinomas can be achieved. Absence of flow signals represents an additional criterion for complicated/complex cysts, allowing conservative management. Vascularity indicates the need for excision or biopsy of the solid projections, even in cases with negative cytology.
|Translated title of the contribution||Additional role of colour Doppler ultrasound imaging in intracystic breast tumours|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging