OBJECTIVE. Our goal was to describe the mammographic characteristics of primary inflammatory carcinoma of the breast. MATERIALS AND METHODS. We identified the medical records of 43 women who participated in a chemotherapy protocol for primary inflammatory carcinoma of the breast between 1994 and 1997. Mammograms were available for review in 26 women (age range, 34-78 years; mean age, 56 years). Two radiologists independently reviewed the 26 mammograms obtained before patients underwent treatment. A third observer was the final arbiter when needed. RESULTS. Mammographic findings included skin thickening in 24 patients (92%), diffusely increased density in 21 patients (81%), trabecular thickening in 16 patients (62%), axillary lymphadenopathy in 15 patients (58%), architectural distortion or focal asymmetric density in 13 patients (50%), and nipple retraction in 10 patients (38%). Malignant- appearing calcifications were seen in six patients (23%), and a mass was seen in four patients (15%). CONCLUSION. Diffuse mammographic abnormalities such as skin thickening, increased density, trabecular thickening, and axillary lymphadenopathy are common at presentation in patients with primary inflammatory carcinoma of the breast. Mammographic masses and malignant- appearing calcifications are uncommon manifestations of this disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging