A breast cyst may be simple, complicated, or complex (current prefered term is "solid and cystic" to avoid confusion with a complicated cyst).
Complicated cysts albeit well defined contain some low level internal echotexture or intra-cystic debris. The latter may layer and shift with changes in patient position. The homogeneous internal echoes within some complicated cysts may produce an appearance identical to that of a circumscribed solid mass. A complex or (solid and cystic) cyst does contain thick walls, thick septa, or other discrete solid-appearing component.
The risk of malignancy among complicated breast cysts is thought to be 0.3 - 2% and therefore it is often recommended these cysts can generally be managed with short-interval follow-up imaging or aspiration 1-2. It is important to differentiate a complicated breast cyst from a complex (solid and cystic) cyst, cystic breast mass, or an intracystic carcinoma of the breast, which will require biopsy.
Further work up
If the aspirated cyst contains bloody fluid it is often recommended to send to cytological analysis.
- 1. Venta LA, Kim JP, Pelloski CE et-al. Management of complex breast cysts. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1999;173 (5): 1331-6. AJR Am J Roentgenol (abstract) - Pubmed citation
- 2. Doshi DJ, March DE, Crisi GM et-al. Complex cystic breast masses: diagnostic approach and imaging-pathologic correlation. Radiographics. 2007;27 Suppl 1 : S53-64. doi:10.1148/rg.27si075508 - Pubmed citation
- 3. Paredes ES. Atlas of mammography. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2007) ISBN:0781764335. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
Synonyms & Alternative Spellings
|Synonyms or Alternative Spelling||Include in Listings?|
|Complicated breast cyst||✗|
|Complicated breast cysts||✗|
|Complex breast cysts||✗|