Is Pre-Operative Axillary Staging with Ultrasound and Ultrasound-Guided Fine-Needle Aspiration Reliable in Invasive Lobular Carcinoma of the Breast?

Soo Yeon Kim, Eun Kyung Kim, Hee Jung Moon, Jung Hyun Yoon, Min Jung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Axillary ultrasound (US) with US-guided fine-needle aspiration (US-FNA) for suspicious lymph nodes is important for pre-operative staging and planning of surgical management. Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) metastases were previously thought to be difficult to detect, but with a limited amount of evidence. This study investigated the ability of US and US-FNA to detect ILC metastases by assessing 142 patients with ILC. The sensitivity of US in detection of metastasis was 52.3%, and US was able to exclude 96% of N2 and N3 axillary metastases. The false-negative rate of US-FNA in detection of metastasis for suspicious lymph nodes on US was 34.8%, and lymph nodes with longer maximal dimensions were associated with false-negative US-FNA results. Multiplicity of breast lesions and maximal cortical thickness ≥3.1 mm of lymph nodes were independently associated with metastasis. Although pre-operative US in ILC can reliably exclude advanced axillary nodal disease, US-FNA results should be carefully interpreted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1263-1272
Number of pages10
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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