Publication Abstract

Authors: Günhan-Bilgen I, Ustün EE, Memiş A

Title: Inflammatory breast carcinoma: mammographic, ultrasonographic, clinical, and pathologic findings in 142 cases.

Journal: Radiology 223(3):829-38

Date: 2002 Jun

Abstract: PURPOSE: To determine and quantitate radiologic characteristics of inflammatory breast carcinoma and to report clinical and pathologic findings. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review of records of 2,733 women who received a diagnosis of breast carcinoma between January 1988 and May 2000 revealed 142 histologically proved inflammatory carcinomas. Analysis included history; findings at physical examination, mammography, and ultrasonography (US); and histologic type of inflammatory carcinoma. RESULTS: At physical examination, skin changes (n = 115, 81%) were the most common findings. A palpable mass was noted in 62% (n = 88), with axillary lymph node involvement in 68% (n = 96) of the carcinomas. Mammography revealed findings in carcinomas: skin thickening, 84% (n = 119); diffusely increased density, 37% (n = 53); trabecular thickening, 81% (n = 115); mass, 16% (n = 23); asymmetric focal density, 61% (n = 87); microcalcifications, 56% (n = 80); nipple retraction, 43% (n = 61); and axillary lymphadenopathy, 24% (n = 34). US showed changes in carcinomas: skin thickening, 96% (n = 136); parenchymal echogenicity changes, 73% (n = 104); dilated lymphatic channels, 68% (n = 96); solid mass, 80% (n = 114); pectoral muscle invasion, 10% (n = 14); focal areas of parenchymal acoustic shadowing, 37% (n = 52); and axillary lymphadenopathy, 73% (n = 104). CONCLUSION: Presence of isolated inflammatory signs is sufficient to suggest inflammatory breast carcinoma clinically. Inflammatory breast carcinoma has a mammographic pattern of inflammatory changes, such as skin thickening and stromal coarsening and/or diffusely increased breast density with or without an associated mass and/or malignant-type microcalcifications. US is helpful not only in depiction of masses masked by the edema pattern but also in demonstration of skin and pectoral muscle invasion and axillary involvement.