Snowstorm sign (extracapsular breast implant rupture)

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 27 Sep 2021

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.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: silicone axillary lymphadenopathy
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