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.

26 results found
Article

Accessory breast tissue

Accessory breast tissue is a relatively common congenital condition in which abnormal accessory breast tissue is seen in addition to the presence of normal breast tissue. This normal variant can present as a mass anywhere along the course of the embryologic mammary streak (axilla to the inguinal...
Article

Amastia

Amastia is a rare congenital condition characterised by the absence of breast tissue, nipple and areola. This may occur unilaterally or bilaterally. Pathology During embryological development, breasts first appear as ectoderm ridges during the 6th week of gestation. This ridge grows thicker an...
Article

Amazia

Amazia is a rare congenital condition defined by the absence of glandular parenchyma in either one or both of the breasts and a normal nipple and areola complex.  Epidemiology This is a very rare entity and the true prevalence is not known. Although there are strict definition criteria, the di...
Article

Anatomy curriculum

The anatomy curriculum is one of our curriculum articles and aims to be a collection of articles that represent the core anatomy knowledge for radiologists and imaging specialists. General anatomy Neuroanatomy Head and neck anatomy Thoracic anatomy Abdominal and pelvic anatomy Spinal anat...
Article

Axillary nodes

Axillary lymph nodes (LN) are in the axilla and receive lymph from vessels that drain the arm, the walls of the thorax, the breast and the upper walls of the abdomen. Gross anatomy There are five axillary lymph node groups, namely the lateral (humeral), anterior (pectoral), posterior (subscapu...
Article

Breast

The breast is an apocrine gland seen in both males and females. However, in females it has a specific function which is the production of milk. Gross anatomy Composition The breast has an inhomogeneous structure which is predominantly composed of adipose tissue and glandular tissue. In additi...
Article

Breast hypoplasia

Breast hypoplasia is a condition which is characterised by underdevelopment of the breast. Breast hypoplasia can be congenital or acquired. Pathology Congenital hypoplasia Associations include: ulnar-mammary syndrome Poland syndrome Turner syndrome congenital adrenal hyperplasia Acquired...
Article

Chassaignac bursa

Chassaignac bursa (also known as retromammary bursa or submammary serous bursa) is the space behind the breast.  It contains loose connective tissue and aids in mobility of the breast on the thoracic wall. Posteriorly it is bound by the pectoral fascia and anteriorly by the deep layer of the su...
Article

Cooper ligament

Cooper ligaments are the fibrous connections between the inner side of the breast skin and the pectoral muscles. Working in conjunction with the fatty tissues and the more fibrous lobular tissues, they are largely responsible for maintaining the shape and configuration of the breast. They play a...
Article

Crests of Duret

The crests of Duret attach the most numerous superficial breast lobes by their summit to the superficial layer of fascia. The deepest crests connect the anterior lobes to the deep layer through the Cooper's ligament. Breast lobe groups about one hundred lobules separated by interlobular connect...
Article

Foramen of Langer

The foramen of Langer is a defect in the deep pectoralis fascia. It is a defect at the level of the third intercostal space, through which the upper lateral portion of the breast extends into the axilla forming the axillary tail of Spence.
Article

Inframammary fold

The inframammary fold is the anatomical boundary formed at the inferior border of the breast, where it joins with the chest. In mammography, it is an important landmark to identify on the mediolateral oblique view to assess image quality.
Article

Intramammary lymph nodes

Intramammary lymph nodes (IMLN) are lymph nodes within the breast tissue. In breast imaging, they generally fall into BIRADS II lesions 7. They can be solitary or multiple. This article discusses normal (physiological) intramammary lymph nodes. Epidemiology Intramammary lymph nodes are seen in...
Article

Lymphatic drainage of the breast

Lymphatic drainage of breast originates from breast lobules and flows into a subareolar plexus, called Sappey’s plexus. From this plexus, lymphatic drainage takes place through three main routes: axillary or lateral pathway fed by Sappey’s Plexus, as well as by ducts satellite lymphatics and b...
Article

Mammary fat

The mammary glands develop in close association with a depot of adipose tissue that is commonly referred to as the mammary fat pad.  The mammary fat pad is a matrix of adipose and connective tissue capable of mediating hormone action and synthesizing an array of growth regulatory molecules.
Article

Montgomery glands

Montgomery glands are large sebaceous glands in the breast, representing a transition between a mammary gland and a sweat gland. Gross anatomy Located within the nipple-areolar complex, Montgomery glands open onto the skin surface via protrusions on the skin known as Montgomery tubercles. They...
Article

Montgomery tubercles

Montgomery tubercles are the openings of Montgomery glands on the skin surface.  Gross anatomy They are about 1-2 mm papules on the skin surface located on the skin of the nipple and areola.  These tubercles become prominent during stimulation and pregnancy Etymology They are named after Wi...
Article

Nipple-areolar complex

During the 6th week of gestation, a pair of longitudinal thickening of the epidermis develop on the ventral surface of the embryo, extending from the axilla to the medial thigh, called  "mammary ridges" (or "mammary line", “milk lines"). In large part these milk lines later atrophy, leaving only...
Article

Pectoralis major

The pectoralis major muscle is a muscle of the pectoral region, overlying the anterior chest wall but is considered an upper limb muscle due to its function.  Summary origin sternal part: sternum and superior six costal cartilages clavicular part: medial half of the clavicle insertion: late...
Article

Sappey plexus

Sappey plexus is a network of lymphatics in the areola of the nipple. The breast is originally an ectodermal tissue, thus its lymphatic drainage is mostly parallel to the lymph flow of the overlying skin. Lymphatic flow from the skin finds its way to the diffuse subcutaneous plexus between the ...
Article

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...
Article

Sternalis muscle

The sternalis muscle is an uncommon anatomic variant of the chest wall musculature and is of uncertain aetiology 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-...
Article

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...
Article

Supraclavicular lymph nodes

The supraclavicular lymph nodes are a paired group of lymph nodes located on either side in the hollow of clavicle close to the sternoclavicular joint. It is the final common pathway of the lymphatic system as it joins the central venous system. They oversee transport of lymph from the thoracic ...
Article

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...
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...

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