Radiologic Evaluation of Breast Disorders Related to Pregnancy and Lactation
Sabate JM, Clotet M, Torrubia S, Gomez A, Guerrero R, de las Heras P, Lerma E.
Radiographics. 2007 Oct;27 Suppl 1:S101-24.
During pregnancy and lactation, the breast can be affected by a variety of specific and unique disorders, including benign disorders closely related to physiologic changes, inflammatory and infectious diseases, juvenile papillomatosis, and benign and malignant tumors. Patients with pregnancy-associated breast carcinoma tend to have more advanced neoplasms at diagnosis and a poorer prognosis due to delayed diagnosis and a more aggressive biologic pattern.
Pregnancy-related Burkitt lymphoma characteristically manifests with bilateral and diffuse involvement of the breasts. Fibroadenoma may manifest with growth, infarction, large cysts, prominent ducts, and secretory hyperplasia during pregnancy and lactation. Galactocele is the breast lesion most commonly found during lactation and manifests as either pseudolipoma, a cystic mass with a fat-fluid level, or pseudohamartoma. Tumors and diseases affecting the breasts during pregnancy and lactation are basically the same as those observed in nonpregnant women but may have a different appearance. The sensitivity of mammography in pregnant and lactating women is decreased due to increased parenchymal density. Instead, ultrasonography is the most appropriate radiologic method for evaluating breast masses in this setting and is particularly useful in the diagnosis and treatment of abscesses. Knowledge of the unique entities that are specifically related to pregnancy and lactation and of their radiologic-pathologic appearances can help the radiologist make the correct diagnosis.
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