PURPOSE: To determine the value of breast ultrasonography (US) in the assessment of silicone breast implants for rupture. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventy-four women with local or systemic symptoms related to silicone implants underwent breast US. Of these, 28 underwent surgical removal of the implants. RESULTS: Of 57 implants removed, 37 were intact. The most reliable sign of an intact implant was an anechoic interior, although reverberation artifact and radical folds could be seen. Of 20 ruptured implants, 16 were intracapsular and four were extracapsular ruptures. The most reliable US sign of rupture was echogenic, horizontal ("stepladder") lines (14 of 20 ruptures). Two of the four extracapsular ruptures were accurately identified as echogenic nodules outside the implant; two were false-negative findings. Three intracapsular ruptures identified at US were false-positive; six were false-negative. Overall sensitivity for rupture was 70%, specificity was 92%, positive predictive value was 82%, and negative predictive value was 85%. CONCLUSION: Breast US is capable of depicting intracapsular and extracapsular rupture of breast implants.
Radiology – Radiological Society of North America, Inc.
Published: Oct 1, 1993
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