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Mammographic Signs of Systemic Disease

AUTHORS

Elham Tavakkol 1 , Mojgan Kalantari 1 , Elham Keshavarz 1 , *

AUTHORS INFORMATION

1 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Iranian Journal of Radiology: 11 (30th Iranian Congress of Radiology); e21254
Published Online: February 28, 2014
Article Type: Research Article
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Abstract

Although mammography is primarily used for the detection of breast cancer, it can occasionally reveal breast abnormalities related to extra-mammary disease. Cardiovascular diseases such as congestive heart failure and central venous obstruction may manifest as venous engorgement and breast edema at mammography. Pathologic arterial calcifications seen at mammography can indicate an underlying risk factor for accelerated atherosclerosis such as chronic renal failure. Connective tissue diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis-polymyositis, and systemic scleroderma typically manifest with bilateral axillary lymphadenopathy, and stromal calcifications are also seen in the latter three disease processes. Some diseases such as neurofibromatosis type 1 and filariasis may manifest with pathognomonic findings at mammography, whereas other systemic diseases such as Wegener granulomatosis, sarcoidosis, and amyloidosis can manifest as nonspecific breast masses that are indistinguishable from breast cancer and usually require tissue biopsy for confirmation. Knowledge of the imaging characteristics of various systemic diseases affecting the breast will aid the radiologist in differentiating systemic disease from suspect breast lesions, thereby, helping ensure appropriate follow-up. Furthermore, recognition of systemic diseases such as Cowden syndrome that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer will allow the radiologist to recommend appropriate surveillance.

Keywords

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© 2014, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.
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