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08 January 2019 : Clinical Research

A Retrospective Study of the Imaging and Pathological Features of Metaplastic Breast Carcinoma and Review of the Literature

Yu Jia1AC, Cuiju He2AB*, Linan Liu3BF, Lili Sun3BD, Yanwei Chen2BC, Yahong Luo2CDF, Tao Yu2CE

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.912107

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:248-258


BACKGROUND: Metaplastic breast cancer (MBC) is a rare type of breast cancer, characterized histologically by the presence of two or more malignant cell types (epithelial and mesenchymal). This retrospective study aimed to review the imaging and histological features of MBC, with a review of the literature.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Nineteen patients with MBC (age range, 28–75 years; mean, 55 years) underwent review of their clinical records, histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and imaging findings, which included mammography, sonography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with T2-weighted imaging (T2WI), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), and diffusion restriction determined by the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and a time-intensity curve (TIC) for signal intensity.

RESULTS: The mammographic features of MBC were oval shaped (54.5%), with indistinct margin (45.5%), and high tumor density (72.7%), and on sonography, they were oval shaped (57.1%), with hypo-echogenic areas (85.8%). On MRI, MBC showed moderate hyper-intensity with a high signal intensity in the center of the tumor on T2WI (100%), an indistinct margin (75.0%), and rim enhancement (58.3%). Using a TIC, the early phase showed rapid enhancement, and the delay phase showed a signal plateau (91.7%). DWI showed diffusion restriction in all cases determined by the ADC. Immunohistochemistry showed negative expression of estrogen receptor (ER) (91.0%), progesterone receptor (PR) (81%), and HER2 (erbB-2) (80.0%).

CONCLUSIONS: Imaging features of MBC on mammography and ultrasound were benign. The use of T2WI MRI showed characteristic features of signal intensity using TIC curve and ADC analysis, which may support biopsy and histological analysis for definitive diagnosis.

Keywords: Breast, Constriction, Pathologic, Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Mammography, Metaplasia


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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750