Breast Cancer

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 320–329 | Cite as

A comparison of mr imaging, galactography and ultrasonography in patients with nipple discharge

  • Hiroshi Nakahara
  • Kiyoshi Namba
  • Ryoji Watanabe
  • Hidemi Furusawa
  • Takafumi Matsu
  • Futoshi Akiyama
  • Goi Sakamoto
  • Snozo Tamura
Original Article



The aim of this study is to assess the usefulness of three-dimensional contrastenhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, compared with galactography and ultrasonography (US).


Fifty-five patients with bloody nipple discharge were investigated retrospectively. All patients were examined by galactography, ultrasonography and MR imaging. These three sets of findings were compared with the histopathological results from 16 intraductal biopsies, 3 excisional biopsies, 24 microdochectomies and 12 mastectomies.


Contrast enhanced MR imaging demonstrated all malignant lesions including ductal carcinomain situ (DCIS). Four cases of DCIS were not visualized by ultrasonography and three malignant lesions were missed by galactography. In the MR study, segmental clumped enhancement (positive predictive value = 100%), and focal mass with smooth border (negative predictive value = 87.5%) were the statistically significant predictive factors.


Among the three modalities, contrast-enhanced three-dimensional MR imaging demonstrated the location and distribution of the lesions most clearly, especially in cases of ductal carcinomain situ. It has the potential to be a useful diagnostic tool for patients with nipple discharge.

Key words

MRI Ultrasonography Galactography, Nipple discharge 



Magnetic resonance




Ductal carcinoma insitu


Invasive ductal carcinoma


Spoiled gradient-recalled echo


Maximum intensity projection


Multiplanar reconstruction


Mediolateral oblique




Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Breast Cancer Society 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Nakahara
    • 1
  • Kiyoshi Namba
    • 2
  • Ryoji Watanabe
    • 2
  • Hidemi Furusawa
    • 2
  • Takafumi Matsu
    • 2
  • Futoshi Akiyama
    • 3
  • Goi Sakamoto
    • 3
  • Snozo Tamura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMiyazaki Medical CollegeMiyazakiJapan
  2. 2.Breastopia Namba HospitalBreastopia Medical CorporationJapan
  3. 3.Department of Breast PathologyCancer Institute HospitalJapan

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