Diagnosing breast implant rupture with MR imaging, US, and mammography.

W. A. Berg, C. I. Caskey, U. M. Hamper, N. D. Anderson, B. W. Chang, S. Sheth, E. A. Zerhouni, J. E. Kuhlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


A total of 135 symptomatic women with 262 breast implants were examined with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging performed with a body coil, ultrasound (US), or both to determine imaging features of implant rupture. Surgical proof was available for 33 women with 62 implants; 24 were ruptured and 38 were intact. Complicated internal structure was the most reliable predictor of implant rupture: Diffuse low-level echoes were seen on sonograms in 56% of ruptured implants; internal membranes (which correspond to the collapsed implant shell) were seen on MR images in 58% of ruptured implants. Fluid droplets were seen within the silicone in 26% of ruptured implants on MR images. Irregular implant contour can be a sign of rupture but is unreliable. Fluid collections around silicone implants are not a sign of rupture. At present, neither US nor conventional MR imaging with a body coil is sufficiently reliable to advocate routine screening of asymptomatic women with breast implants. Evaluation with MR imaging performed with a surface coil is more reliable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1323-1336
Number of pages14
JournalRadiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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