The purpose of this study was to describe and illustrate the sonographic appearances of 19 ruptured silicone gel breast implants.We retrospectively reviewed the sonograms of 16 patients with 19 ruptured silicone gel implants from two institutions. The ruptured implant was confirmed at surgery in 17 cases and by mammographic and clinical findings of a ruptured implant combined with biopsy findings of a silicone granuloma in two cases. Breast sonograms were available for review in all patients. The clinical presentation of each patient was recorded. The sonograms and mammograms were reviewed, and the findings were correlated with the surgical findings. In 16 of the 19 ruptured implants, mammographic findings suggested rupture, including lobulation of the contour of the implant and/or silicone extrusion into the breast parenchyma or axilla. In two ruptured implants, mammographic findings were normal, and in one case, no mammogram was available. In those three patients, palpable masses and clinical findings were suggestive of rupture.Sonography showed a unique echogenic appearance called echo-dense noise, in 17 of the 19 ruptured implants; in 10 of the 17, sonograms showed hypoechoic masses of extruded silicone also. In two ruptured implants, sonograms showed only the hypoechoic masses of extruded silicone gel.Our experience suggests that echogenic noise is a unique sonographic sign of ruptured silicone gel breast implants and may be caused by phase aberration related to the speed of sound being slower in silicone than in soft tissue.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992JQ07900005
View details for PubMedID 1529833