Distribution of metastases in breast carcinoma: CT evaluation of the abdomen

Cynthia I. Caskey, John C. Scatarige, Elliot K. Fishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


To determine the frequency and distribution of extrahepatic and extraskeletal metastases in patients with breast carcinoma, the abdominal CT scans of 260 consecutive patients were systematically evaluated. Extrahepatic and extraskeletal metastases were demonstrated in 26 patients (10%). Confirmation of findings was made by biopsy, autopsy, or by demonstration of progression or regression of disease. Twelve patients (4.6%) demonstrated metastases to the stomach, eleven of whom presented with a linitis plastica pattern. Retroperitoneal and/or mesenteric adenopathy was noted in 10 patients (3.8%), of whom three demonstrated associated hydronephrosis and one demonstrated associated biliary obstruction. Ascites was seen in 14 (5.4%) and peritoneal carcinomatosis in 7 (2.6%). Genitourinary involvement included metastases to the kidney (one case), ureter (one), and uterus (one). Direct invasion of the diaphragm by adjacent pleural metastases (two cases) as well as a soft tissue metastasis (one case) was also demonstrated. Metastases to the ovaries, adrenals, or pancreas could not be identified. Although lesions to the liver and skeleton account for the largest group of metastases from breast carcinoma seen in the abdomen, one should be aware of the potential for other locations of metastatic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-171
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


  • Breast neoplasm
  • Computed tomography
  • Metastases
  • Staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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