Snowstorm sign (extracapsular breast implant rupture)

Dr Tom Foster and Dr Bruno Di Muzio et al.

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

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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