Can Ultrasound be Used to Differentiate Tubular Adenomas of Breast from Fibroadenomas or Carcinoma?


Breast tubular adenomas are rare benign breast tumors and detailed descriptions of their sonographicappearance are necessary for differential diagnosis from fibroadenomas or breast cancers. This study investigatedtwenty-one histology-proved tubular adenomas in 17 patients and also included 48 fibroadenomas in 35 patientsas a control group. There was no significant difference between the two groups with clinical presentation,which was age, tumor location, tumor number (p>0.05). Statistic analysis showed three significant factors inthe differential diagnosis of tubular adenomas and fibroadenomas, including macro-lobulation (p=0.01), “tinybranch like” patterns (p=0.001) and vascularity (p=0.02). Other ultrasonographic features such as echogenicity,border, uniformity of echotexture, posterior acoustic enhancement, lateral wall shadowing were of no clinicalsignificance (p>0.05). Calcifications were seen in three tubular adenomas which were different from those ofcarcinomas. Although tubular adenomas have some typical characteristics on sonography, surgery and coreneedle biopsy are still needed for complex cases to exclude progress to malignancy.