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The use of ultrasound to identify milk ejection in women - tips and pitfalls.

Geddes DT - Int Breastfeed J (2009)

Bottom Line: At milk ejection, the echogenic duct walls expand as milk flows forward towards the nipple.Milk flow appears as echogenic foci rapidly moving within the milk duct.This paper provides a detailed description of the ultrasound technique used for the detection and reviews nuances associated with the procedure.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: M310, Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Western Australia, Australia. donna.geddes@uwa.edu.au.

ABSTRACT
Diagnostic ultrasound imaging of the breast has been limited principally to the abnormal, non-lactating breast. Due to the rapid improvement of imaging technology, high-resolution ultrasound images can now be obtained of the lactating breast. Ultrasound scanning techniques, however, require modifications to accommodate the breast changes that occur in lactation. Furthermore, the function of the breast with regard to milk ejection can be assessed with ultrasound by identification of milk duct dilation and milk flow. At milk ejection, the echogenic duct walls expand as milk flows forward towards the nipple. Milk flow appears as echogenic foci rapidly moving within the milk duct. This paper provides a detailed description of the ultrasound technique used for the detection and reviews nuances associated with the procedure.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Ultrasound image of the main milk duct in a lactating woman. The main milk duct is displayed on ultrasound as a hypoechoic (black) structure with echogenic walls (white). This main milk duct is very large, measuring 9.2 mm in diameter.
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Figure 5: Ultrasound image of the main milk duct in a lactating woman. The main milk duct is displayed on ultrasound as a hypoechoic (black) structure with echogenic walls (white). This main milk duct is very large, measuring 9.2 mm in diameter.

Mentions: Many of the structures of the lactating breast have a similar appearance to that of the non-lactating breast. Particular features of the lactating breast that should be considered are that the ductal structures are generally small, approximately 2–3 millimetres in diameter, and easily compressible [21]. However, ducts may be less than 1 millimetre in diameter (Figure 4) and as large as 10 millimetres in diameter (Figure 5). Furthermore, the internal lumen of ductal structures are not completely anechoic and contain small echogenic foci that most likely represent fat globules in the milk [21]. The fat content of the milk near the nipple is higher in a drained breast compared to a full breast, accounting for the variability of the echogenicity of the milk within the ducts [1] (Table 1). More detailed descriptions regarding the anatomical ultrasonic appearances of the lactating breast can be found in Geddes [3].


The use of ultrasound to identify milk ejection in women - tips and pitfalls.

Geddes DT - Int Breastfeed J (2009)

Ultrasound image of the main milk duct in a lactating woman. The main milk duct is displayed on ultrasound as a hypoechoic (black) structure with echogenic walls (white). This main milk duct is very large, measuring 9.2 mm in diameter.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2710318&req=5

Figure 5: Ultrasound image of the main milk duct in a lactating woman. The main milk duct is displayed on ultrasound as a hypoechoic (black) structure with echogenic walls (white). This main milk duct is very large, measuring 9.2 mm in diameter.
Mentions: Many of the structures of the lactating breast have a similar appearance to that of the non-lactating breast. Particular features of the lactating breast that should be considered are that the ductal structures are generally small, approximately 2–3 millimetres in diameter, and easily compressible [21]. However, ducts may be less than 1 millimetre in diameter (Figure 4) and as large as 10 millimetres in diameter (Figure 5). Furthermore, the internal lumen of ductal structures are not completely anechoic and contain small echogenic foci that most likely represent fat globules in the milk [21]. The fat content of the milk near the nipple is higher in a drained breast compared to a full breast, accounting for the variability of the echogenicity of the milk within the ducts [1] (Table 1). More detailed descriptions regarding the anatomical ultrasonic appearances of the lactating breast can be found in Geddes [3].

Bottom Line: At milk ejection, the echogenic duct walls expand as milk flows forward towards the nipple.Milk flow appears as echogenic foci rapidly moving within the milk duct.This paper provides a detailed description of the ultrasound technique used for the detection and reviews nuances associated with the procedure.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: M310, Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Western Australia, Australia. donna.geddes@uwa.edu.au.

ABSTRACT
Diagnostic ultrasound imaging of the breast has been limited principally to the abnormal, non-lactating breast. Due to the rapid improvement of imaging technology, high-resolution ultrasound images can now be obtained of the lactating breast. Ultrasound scanning techniques, however, require modifications to accommodate the breast changes that occur in lactation. Furthermore, the function of the breast with regard to milk ejection can be assessed with ultrasound by identification of milk duct dilation and milk flow. At milk ejection, the echogenic duct walls expand as milk flows forward towards the nipple. Milk flow appears as echogenic foci rapidly moving within the milk duct. This paper provides a detailed description of the ultrasound technique used for the detection and reviews nuances associated with the procedure.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus