Breast imaging findings in haematological malignancies

K. N. Glazebrook, S. Zingula, K. N. Jones, R. T. Fazzio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objectives of this article are to review and illustrate the imaging appearances of haematological malignancies in the breast.

Methods: With Institutional Review Board approval, a search of the surgical pathology records from 1st January 2000 to 1st July 2012 was performed for haematological malignancies.

Results: Forty-eight cases of haematological malignancies (42 women and 6 men) were identified with imaging available for review: 39 cases of breast lymphoma, 6 cases of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, 2 cases of acute leukaemia and 1 case of known multiple myeloma.

Conclusions: Breast manifestations of haematological malignancies are rare. They can have a variable appearance at imaging and can mimic primary breast carcinoma. In the setting of suspicious breast imaging findings, pathological diagnosis of haematological malignancy is concordant. Correlation with a clinical history of prior haematological malignancy can be helpful in suggesting the diagnosis and help prevent unnecessary surgical treatment.

Teaching Points: • Breast haematological malignancies are rare but the imaging appearances can mimic breast carcinoma.

• Breast lymphoma, most often B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, may be primary or due to secondary disease.

• At ultrasound, haematological malignancies may present as a heterogeneous or predominantly echogenic mass.

• Haematological malignancies show intense activity on PET/CT except myeloma which has low FDG uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-722
Number of pages8
JournalInsights into Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 12 2014


  • CT
  • Haematological malignancy
  • Mammography
  • PET
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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