Scientific publications

Metastases to the breast: a review of 33 cases

Apr 1, 2007 | Magazine: Australasian Radiology

Noguera JJ, Martínez-Miravete P, Idoate F, Díaz L, Pina L, Zornoza G, Martínez-Regueira F.

The aim of the study was to show the clinical and radiological manifestations of metastases to the breast (MB). From 1987 to 2006, 33 patients with MB were diagnosed at our institution. Their clinical and radiological features were retrospectively evaluated. Of the 33 cases, 31 presented as a palpable breast lump.

On mammography, their findings were classified as follows: well-circumscribed masses (11 cases), ill-circumscribed masses (five), focal asymmetric densities (one) and inflammatory skin changes (six). Mammograms were normal in six cases (all of them showed dense breast tissue). Four CT scans showed two well-circumscribed masses and two ill-circumscribed masses. Ultrasonography was available in 18 cases: hypoechoic lesions (15 cases) were more frequent than hyperechoic (one) or isoechoic lesions (two). The appearance on magnetic resonance was similar to primary breast cancer (one case). The most common primary tumours causing MB were haematological malignancies (nine cases) and melanomas (seven).

Metastases to the breast showed a wide range of mammographic and ultrasonographic appearances, resembling both benign and malignant lesions. Any patient who presents with a breast lump with a history of cancer should undergo a core-needle biopsy in order to determine the histology of the lump.

CITATION  Australas Radiol. 2007 Apr;51(2):133-8