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.

334 results found
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Sclerosing papilloma (breast)

Sclerosing papillomas of the breast are a sub type of intraductal papilloma of breast. It is termed when a papillary lesion form well-defined solid masses with a dominant sclerosed architecture 2. It is usually a histological diagnosis and usually cannot be differentiated from a non sclerosing p...
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Screening for breast cancer

Screening for breast cancer includes activities which test members of asymptomatic populations for breast cancer. Many advanced countries have breast screening programs. The most widely adopted method for breast cancer screening is mammography. There are few areas in imaging fraught with more c...
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Sentinel lymph node

The sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) are defined as those lymph nodes that directly drain a malignancy, or alternatively can be considered as the first node(s) that a tumor metastasizes to. History and etymology "Sentinel node" as the initial draining node of a malignancy was first used in a paper ...
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Seroma

Seromas are collections of serous fluid that usually occur as a complication of surgery, but can also be seen post-trauma. They are commonly seen as an early complication of breast surgery, where a potential space is left. Terminology Seromas are distinct from hematoma as they contain almost n...
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Silicone injection and insertion (cosmetic)

Silicone injection into various parts of the body has been used in many countries to achieve what are perceived to be cosmetic improvements. Most common sites for such injections are the breasts, face, and buttocks, although anywhere can be targeted.  This article is a general discussion of the...
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Simple breast cyst

Simple breast cysts are a common benign cause of a breast lump in women. Clinical presentation Patients may be asymptomatic or present with a breast lump. Some patients may have associated pain or tenderness. Pathology Breast cysts are caused by blockage of the terminal acini with resultant ...
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Skin calcification in breast

Skin calcifications in the breast usually form in dermal sweat glands after low grade folliculitis and inspissation of sebaceous material. Calcifications may also form in moles and other skin lesions.  Often, these calcifications are in groups as they extend into small glands in the skin. Occasi...
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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...
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Snowstorm sign (disambiguation)

Snowstorm sign may refer to: snowstorm sign: complete hydatiform mole (ultrasound) snowstorm sign: extracapsular breast implant rupture (ultrasound) snowstorm sign: thyroid pulmonary metastases (chest radiograph)
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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 ruptur...
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Spence tail

Spence tail is the prolongation of upper outer quadrant of the breast in the axillary direction. It is also called the axillary tail, once it passes through the foramen of Langer, it pierces the axillary fascia. The duct system is seen to extend into the axilla. If this direct continuity with t...
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Spontaneous nipple discharge

Spontaneous nipple discharge in a non lactating breast can result from many causes which include: papillary lesions of breast: present in ~35-50% of cases with spontaneous nipple discharge intraductal papilloma fibrocystic change ductal carcinoma in situ: 5-21%
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Spot view (mammography)

A spot view (also known as a spot compression view or focal compression view) is an additional mammographic view performed by applying the compression to a smaller area of tissue using a small compression paddle, increasing the effective pressure on that spot. This results in better tissue separ...
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Steatocystoma multiplex of the breast

Steatocystoma multiplex is a rare familial hamartomatous malformation that is characterized by the presence of multiple intradermal cysts, and can result in abnormal breast examinations.  Epidemiology They usually appear during adolescence and progress with age. Clinical presentation The dis...
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Stellate breast lesions: causes (mnemonic)

A handy mnemonic to recall the causes of a stellate breast lesion is: STARFACE Mnemonic S: summation shadow T: tumor (i.e. invasive breast cancer) A: abscess R: radial scar F: fibroadenoma / fat necrosis A: adenosis (sclerosing) CE: other causes, hematoma (e.g. postoperative, post biops...
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Step-and-shoot tomosynthesis (breast)

Step-and-shoot is a technology of image acquisition in digital breast tomosynthesis characterized by stop scanning at every single angle during images acquisition. Step-and-shoot technology allows advantages in microcalcifications conspicuity, spatial resolution, signal-to-noise Ratio improveme...
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Stepladder sign (disambiguation)

Stepladder sign may refer to: intracapsular breast implant rupture (ultrasound) gas-fluid levels in obstructed small bowel (erect abdominal radiograph)
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Stepladder sign (intracapsular breast implant rupture)

The stepladder sign is a sonographic sign indicating an intracapsular breast implant rupture. It is considered the most reliable ultrasonographic finding in silicone gel breast implant intracapsular rupture. It is identified as multiple, discontinuous, parallel, linear echoes in the lumen, and i...
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Step-oblique mammography

Step-oblique mammography is an accurate technique for determining whether a mammographic finding visible on multiple images on only one projection (but not elucidated using standard additional mammographic projections) represents a summation artefact or a true mass and for precisely localizing t...
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Stereotactic breast biopsy

Stereotactic breast biopsy refers to percutaneous sampling of breast tissue using mammographic guidance for targeting. Indications It is the biopsy method of choice when the finding of interest is best seen on mammography, such as microcalcifications (most common), architectural distortion, or...
Article

Sternalis muscle

The sternalis muscle is an uncommon anatomic variant of the chest wall musculature and is of uncertain etiology and function. Its importance lies in that it should not be mistaken for a pathological lesion.  Epidemiology Cadaveric studies have shown that the muscle is present in ~5% (range 1-8...
Article

Stewart-Treves syndrome

Stewart-Treves syndrome refers to an angiosarcoma seen in the setting of lymphedema 1. It was classically attributed to lymphedemas induced by radical mastectomy to treat breast cancer. Nowadays, we know that it can arise in chronically lymphedematous regions of any cause 2.  The incidence is ...
Article

Subareolar abscess

Subareolar breast abscess are relatively uncommon and tend to occur mostly in young women.  Clinical presentation Mastalgia, signs of inflammation, lump formation in the subareolar region and nipple discharge. In chronic cases fistula formation and nipple deformity may be seen. Pathology Squ...
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Subcapsular line sign (intracapsular breast implant rupture)

The subcapsular line sign is a small localized leak from a silicone implant that leads to the formation of a thin layer of silicone between the implant shell and the fibrous capsule. It represents a minimally collapsed intracapsular breast implant rupture. It is best appreciated by MRI.
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Supernumerary nipples

Supernumerary nipples are a common minor congenital malformation that consists of accessory nipples. Supernumerary nipples are located along the embryonic milk lines. Ectopic supernumerary nipples are found beyond the embryonic milk lines. In human beings, the embryonic milk line extends from a...
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Supraclavicular lymph nodes

The supraclavicular lymph nodes (often shortened to the supraclavicular nodes) are a paired group of lymph nodes located on each side in the hollow superior to the clavicle, close to the sternoclavicular joint. It is the final common pathway of the lymphatic system as it joins the central venous...
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Suspensory ligament of the axilla

The suspensory ligament of the axilla is the inferior extension of the clavipectoral fascia on each side of the thorax. Gross anatomy The suspensory ligament of the axilla originates from the inferior border of pectoralis minor, where the 'leaflets' of the clavipectoral fascia have fused again...
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Suspicious breast calcifications

Suspicious breast calcifications are calcifications within the breast that have a morphology and/or distribution on mammography indicating a significant probability of malignancy. These merit further workup and biopsy 1. Radiographic features Technique Some calcifications may be more conspicu...
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Suture calcification in breast

Suture calcification in breast can be seen after a lumpectomy and/or radiation therapy. It is theorized that tissue damage from radiation therapy delays the resorption of the suture. The residual suture material is thought to act as a nidus for calcification. Radiographic features Mammography ...
Article

Synchronous breast cancer

Synchronous breast cancers are two (or more) primary breast cancers that occur in either breast at the same time.  Epidemiology Up to 10% of all breast cancers may be synchronous (particularly found with the use of breast MRI). The occurrence of bilaterality is greatest with invasive lobular c...
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Tabar 5-tier grading system

The Tabar 5-tier grading system is used to classify mammographic lesions. This should not be confused with the Tabar classification of parenchymal patterns in breast imaging. It is a separate but translatable system to the BI-RADS classification system (please note that Tabar grade 3 ≠ BI-RADS 3...
Article

Tangential views

Tangential views are useful to differentiate intracutaneous radiopaque particles in a tattoo from intraparenchymal microcalcifications. Mammographic findings close to the skin such as masses, microcalcifications, skin dimpling or shaded areas always pose a problem of differential diagnosis. Va...
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Tattoo sign (mammogram)

The tattoo sign is a feature given to describe dermal calcifications seen on mammography 1. The basis of this sign is that dermal calcifications maintain fixed relationships to one another that are reproducible with similar projections at different times. This is in contrast to intramammary calc...
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Teardrop sign (intracapsular breast implant rupture)

The teardrop sign indicates an uncollapsed intracapsular breast implant rupture and is seen as a small focal invagination of the implant shell caused by a minimal concealed leak of droplets of silicone outside the shell where the two membranes contact each other. It is best appreciated by MRI. ...
Article

Technique of masking

Masking is very important when viewing mammograms, especially with high-density breasts. It helps the adaptation of the eye to the luminance of the mammograms on the viewbox.                     The technique of masking allows the comparative study of small areas of both breasts and is a featur...
Article

Tent sign (breast)

The tent sign is a term referring to a characteristic appearance of the posterior edge of the breast parenchyma when a mass (usually an infiltrating lesion) causes its retraction and forms an inverted "V" that resembles the tip of a circus tent. The detection of a "tent sign" is facilitated by ...
Article

Terminal ductal lobular unit

Each breast lobe is drained by a collecting duct terminating in the nipple. The collecting duct has several branches, which ends in a terminal ductal-lobular unit (TDLU), the basic functional and histopathological unit of the breast. The TDLU is composed of a small segment of the terminal duct a...
Article

Transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap

Transplantation of a transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap is a commonly used surgical procedure for breast reconstruction following mastectomy. An autologous myocutaneous flap consisting of abdominal skin, subcutaneous fat, the rectus abdominis muscle, and adjoining vasculature ...
Article

Triangulation

Triangulation is a technique for localizing lesions seen on at least two views on 2D mammography. Technique hang the CC, MLO, and 90° lateral films (in that order) on the view box the nipple on each film must be at the same level use a ruler and place one end over the lesion on the 90° later...
Article

Triple receptor negative breast cancer

Triple receptor-negative (TRN) breast cancer is a subtype of breast cancer characterized by a relative absence of immunohistochemical staining for the following hormone receptors/protein: estrogen receptor (OR) progesterone receptor (PR) human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu) Ep...
Article

Tuberculous mastitis

Tuberculous mastitis is often considered a form of granulomatous mastitis secondary to Mycobacterium tuberculous infection of the breast. Some authors however reserve the term granulomatous mastitis to idiopathic granulomatous mastitis.  Tuberculous mastitis can mimic many other pathologies in ...
Article

Tuberous breasts

Tuberous breasts are congenital deformities of breast. They are defined by reduced parenchymal volume and herniation of breast tissue through the nipple-areola complex. Epidemiology The exact incidence is not clear. However, it is a common cause of patients presenting with breast asymmetry. Pr...
Article

Tubular adenoma of the breast

Tubular adenomas (TA) of the breast, also known as pure adenoma of the breast, are a rare benign breast lesion. It is a type of adenomatous breast lesion. Epidemiology They are typically found in young women and are usually palpated by the patient or her physician. Pathology On gross patholo...
Article

Tubular carcinoma of the breast

Tubular carcinoma of the breast is a subtype of invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC).  Epidemiology These account for ~1% of breast cancers. The peak age at presentation may be comparatively younger than with other types of breast cancer 7. Clinical presentation The vast majority of tubular carci...
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Tubulolobular carcinoma of the breast

A tubulolobular carcinoma (TLC) of the breast is considered a subtype of breast cancer that features of both invasive lobular carcinoma and tubular carcinoma of the breast. It therefore exhibits features of both ductal and lobular differentiation. Multifocality, muticentricity and percentage of ...
Article

Tucked CC views

In the standard CC views posterior tissue may be excluded from the field of view, due to the anatomical attachment to the chest wall restricting mobility of breast tissues. The tucks CC views are useful to depict lesions deep in the posterior portion of the breast, located between 10 and 2 o'clo...
Article

Ultrasound elastography

Ultrasound elastography, also called as sono-elastography, is a modern evolutionary method of sonographic imaging. Techniques include shear wave elastography (also known as transient elastography) and strain elastography (also known as static or compression elastography). These techniques assess...
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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 stromal fibrosis, or both processes lead to the formation of cysts, disabling the drainage of the terminal ducts of the lobules. In al...
Article

Ultrasound guided breast biopsy

Ultrasound guided percutaneous breast biopsy is a widely used technique for an accurate histopathological assessment of suspected breast pathology. It is a fast, safe and economical procedure. Indications Ultrasound guidance is limited to lesions visible on ultrasound study. Biopsy is generall...
Article

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...
Article

Vascular calcification in breast

Vascular calcifications in the breast are calcifications associated with blood vessels.   Epidemiology They are most often seen in postmenopausal women with arteriosclerotic heart disease.  Pathology Results due to calcified atherosclerotic plaques in the arterial walls. Associations coron...
Article

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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WHO classification of tumors of the breast

The World Health Organization classification of tumors of the breast is the most widely used pathologic classification system for such disorders. The current revision, part of the 4th edition of the WHO series, was published in 2012 and is reflected in the article below 1. Classification Epith...
Article

XCCL view

An XCCL view is a supplementary mammographic view. It is a type of exaggerated cranio-caudal view. It is particularly good for imaging the lateral aspect of the breast.  It is often done when a lesion is suspected on a MLO view but cannot be seen on the CC view. In this view, the lateral aspect...
Article

XCCM view

An XCCM view is a supplementary mammographic view. It is a type of exaggerated cranio-caudal view. It is particularly good for imaging the medial portion of the breast. In this view, the medial portion of the breast is placed forward. A negative 15° tube tilt is suggested. An optimal XCCM view ...

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