Articles

Articles are a collaborative effort to provide a single canonical page on all topics relevant to the practice of radiology. As such, articles are written and edited by countless contributing members over a period of time. A global group of dedicated editors oversee accuracy, consulting with expert advisers, and constantly reviewing additions.

26 results found
Article

Medical devices in the thorax

Medical devices in the thorax are regularly observed by radiologists when reviewing radiographs and CT scans. Extrathoracic devices tubing, clamps, syringes, scissors, lying on or under the patient rubber sheets, foam mattresses, clothing, hair braids, nipple piercings, etc. may also be visib...
Article

Dilated ducts on breast imaging (differential)

Dilated ducts on breast imaging may be seen on many breast imaging modalities and can arise from a number of causes which can be both benign or malignant. physiological lactational changes mammary duct ectasia breast neoplasm 2-3
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Well-defined breast cancers (differential)

Certain well-defined breast cancers tend to lack the characteristic spiculation and can give false reassurance of more benign entities on both ultrasound and mammography. These include: certain high grade invasive ductal carcinomas: not enough time for a desmoplastic reaction to form spiculatio...
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Hyperechoic breast lesions

There are a number of lesions that appear hyperechoic on ultrasound. Such lesions can be either completely or partly hyperechoic and include both benign and malignant entities. Benign fat containing breast lesions lipoma of the breast fibroadenolipoma (hamartoma) of the breast focal regions...
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Cystic breast mass

A cystic breast mass is a mass that contains both solid and fluid components. This can occur from both benign and malignant causes. Benign complex breast hematoma complex breast abscess breast cyst with associated inflammation and hemorrhage galactocoele fibrocystic changes and oil cysts 2...
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Calcific axillary lymphadenopathy (differential)

Calcific axillary lymphadenopathy is in general, more concerning than axillary lymphadenopathy alone and is particularly so if it contains microcalcifications. While this is concerning for malignancy, it can also occur from occasional nonmalignant causes Causes include metastatic axillary lymp...
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Unilateral axillary lymphadenopathy (differential)

Unilateral axillary lymphadenopathy while being more concerning than bilateral axillary lymphadenopathy can still arise from a variety of benign, as well as malignant, causes. Benign mastitis other regional infective causes tuberculosis ipsilateral arm infection, e.g. cellulitis silicone i...
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Skin thickening on mammography (differential)

The presence of skin thickening on mammography is variably defined, usually being more than 2 mm in thickness. It can result from a number of both benign and malignant causes. They include: Malignant inflammatory breast cancer: one of the most concerning causes of skin thickening: this usually...
Article

Asymmetry (mammography)

Asymmetries in mammography represent a spectrum of morphological descriptors for a unilateral fibroglandular-density finding seen on one or more mammographic projections that do not meet criteria for a mass. The term refers to a density finding and should not be confused with asymmetry in breast...
Article

High risk breast lesion

The term high-risk breast lesion is given to a breast lesion that carries an increased risk for the future development of breast cancer or carries suspicion of a more sinister pathology around or in association with the lesion. The term has some overlap with borderline breast disease. Many radio...
Article

Coarse macrocalcifications within the breast

Coarse macrocalcifications within the breast are a morphological descriptive term for a type of breast calcification.  Epidemiology Associations involuting fibroadenomas (classic popcorn calcification) chronic renal disease with hypercalcemia 1 rarely seen in malignancy 2 invasive breast c...
Article

Milk of calcium within a breast cyst

Milk of calcium within a breast cyst is a mammographic feature observed when there is dependent calcium layering within breast cysts. It is typically observed as "tea cup" or "crescent shaped" calcifications on a true lateral (LM or ML) view or occasionally on a MLO view. On a CC view, these cal...
Article

Amorphous calcifications (breast)

Amorphous calcifications, previously known as indistinct calcifications, are a morphological descriptor for breast calcifications that are small and/or hazy such that no clearly defined shape/form can be ascribed.  Pathology Many benign and malignant conditions may be seen in association with ...
Article

Grouped calcifications

The term grouped calcifications is used in mammography when relatively few breast microcalcifications reside within a small area. There must be at least five calcifications present within 1 cm of each other 3. At the most, it may refer to a larger number of calcifications present within 2 cm of ...
Article

Multicentric breast cancer

A multicentric breast cancer is a term given to a breast cancer where there are two or more breast cancers separated by normal breast tissue (often taken as 5 cm of separation 4). It is related to but distinct from the term multifocal breast cancer. At a pathological level It can also mean 2 t...
Article

Papillary lesions of the breast

Papillary lesions of the breast comprise a wide group and range from benign to malignant. Pathology They develop as tufts of epithelium with a fibrovascular core that arborizes into branching papillae and protrude into the duct lumen. Benign papilloma of breast / intraductal papilloma of the ...
Article

Multifocal breast cancer

Multifocal breast cancer refers to two or more individual breast cancers diagnosed at the same time within the same quadrant of the same breast 1. 
Article

Asymmetry in breast size

Asymmetry in breast size can arise from a number of factors. Pathology Breasts are rarely absolutely the same size or volume. Normal variation is common. Most females have slight discrepancies in breast size. Asymmetric progressive breast enlargement is unusual but known. The role of the breas...
Article

Altered breast density between two mammograms

Mammographic screening detects early breast cancers and thereby reduces potential mortality. However, its sensitivity is inversely related to breast density 1.  Altered density between two mammograms can arise in a number of situations: Affecting both breasts: interval commencement/cessation ...
Article

Breast calcifications

Breast calcifications are deposits of calcium salts in the breast, which are radio-opaque on mammography. The majority are benign, but they can be associated with cancer. The ability to diagnose and appropriately manage the significant microcalcifications and differentiate them from innocuous fi...
Article

Cutaneous calcifications in breast imaging

Cutaneous calcifications in breast imaging can form in dermal sweat glands after low grade folliculitis and inspissation of sebaceous material. Calcifications may also form in moles and other skin lesions. The vast majority of calcifications are coincidental findings on mammography. Radiographi...
Article

Fat containing breast lesions

Fat containing breast lesions generally have some radiolucent component on mammography. Pathology They are generally classified at BIRADS II lesions. Common breast lipoma breast hamartoma fat necrosis within the breast/oil cyst intramammary lymph node: classically has a central fatty hilu...
Article

Breast density

Breast density refers to the amount of fibroglandular tissue in a breast relative to fat. It can significantly vary between individuals and within individuals over a lifetime. Classification There are four descriptors for breast density on mammography in the 5th edition of BI-RADS 1,2: a: the...
Article

Bilateral axillary lymphadenopathy (differential)

Bilateral axillary lymphadenopathy can result from a number of causes and generally implies a systemic process. They include: autoimmune diseases, e.g.: rheumatoid arthritis scleroderma dermatomyositis 5 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) psoriasis Sjögren syndrome lymphoma leukemia di...
Article

Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia refers to a benign excess of the male breast tissue, that is usually reversible. It is not a risk factor per se for developing male breast cancer. Epidemiology While it can occur at any age, it tends to have greater prevalence in two groups: adolescent boys and older men (some pub...
Article

Breast lumps

Breast lumps have different characteristics that allow simplification of differential diagnosis by breaking down the vast list into sections. Consider whether the lump fits into one of these categories. Spiculated lesion Spiculation is a feature of neoplasms and all masses that display spicula...

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