Ultrasound evaluation of breast cysts

Ultrasound evaluation of breast cysts is the modality of choice. Obstruction of the ducts, often appearing as the result of epithelial hyperplastic processes or the stromal fibrosis, or both processes lead to the formation of cysts, disabling the drainage of the terminal ducts of the lobules.

In almost 70% of all fibrocystic change, the cysts represent the predominant finding.

According to size, the cysts are divided into two categories:

  1. macrocysts: ranging from 1-6 cm in diameter that could be simple cysts or lobulated multilocular lesions
  2. microcysts: <3 mm in diameter

Cysts can be:

  • solitary lesions
  • multiple lesions

Based on the structure, cysts can be divided into two groups:

  • typical cysts with characteristic echographic appearance:
    • anechoic
    • sonolucent round lesions
    • well contoured with posterior enhancement
  • atypical cysts with all the features of typical cysts with:
    • more or less subtle echoes within the anechoic cyst
    • proliferations
    • calcifications

Breast imaging and pathology
Share article

Article Information

rID: 9066
System: Breast
Section: Approach
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Ultrasound evaluation of breast cysts

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and Figures

  • Drag
     Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.
    Loadinganimation

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.