J Korean Radiol Soc.  2005 Jan;52(1):45-49. 10.3348/jkrs.2005.52.1.45.

The Value of Ultrasonographic Detection for Metastatic Axillary Lymph Nodes in Breast Cancer

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Korea. choihy@hanmail.net

Abstract

PURPOSE: We evaluated the significance and accuracy of sonographic detection of metastatic axillary lymph nodes (LNs) in breast cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We retrospectively reviewed the sonographic findings and postoperative results of axillary LNs in 47 patients with breast cancer. The sonographic criteria for metastatic LNs were defined as the loss of the echogenic hilum and any uneven cortical thickness of over 3 mm. We analyzed the correlation between the preoperative sonographic findings and the postoperative results of the LNs.
RESULTS
Out of 47 patients, 22 patients showed 43 sonographic metastatic LNs. Among these 22 patients, 18 patients had 183 histopathologically proven metastatic LNs. The pathological examination of the remaining 25 patients revealed metastatic LNs in 6 patients. The overall sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of ultrasonography for detecting metastatic axillary LNs in breast cancer were 75%, 82.6% and 78.7%, respectively. As the number of metastatic LNs detected on sonography increased, the number of histologically proven metastatic LNs increased.
CONCLUSION
Ultrasonographic evaluation of axillary LNs in breast cancer can provide relatively accurate information about the presence or absence of metastasis. Therefore, it is useful to decide the initial staging and treatment planning of patients with breast cancer.

Keyword

Breast neoplasms; Ultrasonography; Lymph Nodes

MeSH Terms

Breast Neoplasms*
Breast*
Humans
Lymph Nodes*
Neoplasm Metastasis
Retrospective Studies
Sensitivity and Specificity
Ultrasonography
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