Objective: To find the sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value of ultrasound in detection of palpable breast lumps and to correlate the findings of ultrasound with the findings of fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC), or histopathology.
Materials and Methods: Ultrasonagraphic evaluation of 100 palpable breast lumps was done in Alkhansaa hospital in the department of breast clinic. Diagnosis was made considering four features of the lumps i.e. shape, margins, width: AP ratio and echogenicity. Diagnosis was confirmed by fine needle aspiration cytology or histopathology.
Results: The sensitivity of ultrasound in detection of palpable breast lumps was 95%. The incidence of breast lumps was highest in the age group of 20-29 years. Lump alone was the presentation in 75% of the cases. 60% of the lumps were present in outer upper quadrant of the breast. The sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value of ultrasound in fibroadenoma of the breast was 82%, 94% and 90% respectively. The sensitivity for carcinoma of the breast was 67% and for cystic masses it was 92%. The ultrasound features that most reliably characterized breast masses as benign were round or oval shape (97% were benign), circumscribed margins (81% were benign) and width: AP ratio > 1.4 (90% were benign). Features that characterised masses as malignant were irregular shape (48% were malignant), non-circumscribed margins (36% were malignant) and width: AP ratio 1.4 (31% were malignant).
Conculation: Ultrasound is a useful tool in differentiation of cystic from solid masses of the breast. It is useful in young females and pregnant women where mammography is not advisable. However its role in diagnosis of carcinoma of the breast needs further evaluation before it can be used for screening of carcinoma breast.