Snowstorm sign (extracapsular breast implant rupture)

Snowstorm sign on breast ultrasound imaging represents the presence of free silicone droplets mixed with breast tissue giving a characteristic heterogeneous echogenic appearance with dispersion of the ultrasound beam. It is considered the most reliable sign of extracapsular breast implant rupture 1. A similar appearance may be seen in axillary nodes in silicone lymphadenopathy.

A similar sonographic sign has also been described when assessing complete hydatiform mole.

Breast imaging and pathology
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Article information

rID: 48698
System: Breast
Section: Signs
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Echodense noise (extracapsular breast implant rupture)
  • Echogenic noise (extracapsular breast implant rupture)
  • Echo-dense noise (extracapsular breast implant rupture)
  • Snowstorm appearance (extracapsular breast implant rupture)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: silicone axillary lymphadenopathy
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