Ultrasound of Regional Lymph Nodes in Breast Cancer

  • Yury Patrunov
  • Alexander N. Sencha
  • Ekaterina Sencha
  • Ella Penyaeva


Regional lymph nodes are a barrier, preventing the spread of both the infection and cancer cells from the nearby organs and systems. Up to 55% of sonographically detected abnormal lymph nodes are impalpable. Lymph nodes have morphologic zones, each with specific features of structure and function. Usually, two main components of lymph node are well distinguishable—the cortical and medullar layers. The main sonographic features of lymph nodes are the size, shape, structure, and vascularization. Vascular pattern of lymph nodes may be classified into four categories: “hiliar,” activated “hiliar” (central), peripheral, and mixed type. Reactive changes of lymph nodes may result from various pathological processes (an inflammatory process, vaccination, injections, etc.). The incidence of breast cancer metastases in regional lymph nodes in women and men is 19–80%. About 7% of tumors simultaneously metastasize to two regions. The sensitivity of ultrasound in the detection of affected lymph nodes in breast cancer is 70–99% with specificity of 83–97%. Currently, grayscale ultrasound is the principal method for differential diagnosis of the pathology in the axillary area. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is an alternative to lymphodissection in patients with early stages of breast cancer with no clinical signs of metastatic lesions in axillary lymph nodes.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yury Patrunov
    • 1
  • Alexander N. Sencha
    • 2
  • Ekaterina Sencha
    • 3
  • Ella Penyaeva
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ultrasound Diagnostics of Radiology CenterYaroslavl Railway ClinicYaroslavlRussia
  2. 2.Division of Visual DiagnosticsNational Medical Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology named after Academician V.I. Kulakov of Ministry of Healthcare of Russian FederationMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Department of Ultrasound DiagnosticsFederal State Budget Hospital “9 Treatment and Diagnostic Center” of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian FederationMoscowRussia

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