PURPOSE: To evaluate microbubble contrast enhancement in distinguishing malignant from benign breast masses and malignant from benign axillary nodes in patients with breast cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighty-six patients with 86 breast masses and 32 patients with breast cancer (subgroup of 86 patients) with 32 axillary nodes underwent color power Doppler ultrasonography with and without contrast material. Vascular features and contrast material transit times were recorded. Nodal enhancement was compared with corresponding primary breast cancer enhancement in the subset of 32 patients. RESULTS: Pathologic analysis revealed 58 breast carcinomas and 28 benign breast lesions and 20 malignant and 12 benign axillary nodes in the 32 patients with breast cancer. Breast cancers had a greater total number and greater number of peripheral vessels than did benign lesions before and after contrast material administration (P < .001). Malignant nodes had a greater total number and greater number of peripheral vessels at baseline and after contrast enhancement (P < .05), and a longer enhancement duration (P = .004) compared with benign nodes. Malignant nodes enhanced more than did corresponding primary breast cancers. Postcontrast number of peripheral vessels was an independent predictor of primary breast cancer (P < .05), and increased number of peripheral vessels after contrast enhancement and enhancement duration were independent predictors of nodal malignancy (P < .05). CONCLUSION: Primary breast cancers and malignant axillary nodes had a greater total number and greater number of peripheral vessels compared with benign breast masses and axillary nodes, respectively.
- Breast neoplasms, 00.31, 00.32
- Breast neoplasms, US, 00.12983, 00.12984, 00.12985, 00.12988
- Lymphatic system, US, 99.12983, 99.12984, 99.12985, 99.12988
- Ultrasound, Doppler studies, 00.12983, 00.12984, 00.12985, 00.12988, 99.12983, 99.12984, 99.12985, 99.12988
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology