Ultrasound surveillance on detection of nonpalpable supraclavicular recurrence after breast cancer surgery

Eun Cho, Jin Hwa Lee, Eun Hwa Park, Kyung Do Byun


Aims: To evaluate the clinical utility of supraclavicular scanning for locoregional lymph node (LN) assessment in postoperative screening surveillance using ultrasonography (US) in patients who underwent breast cancer surgery.

Material and methods: From July 2004 to February 2019, 280 suspicious findings for locoregional recurrence in the lymph node (LRL) on postoperative screening US were detected in 266 asymptomatic patients who underwent breast cancer surgery. Suspicious features of LRL on US included the marked hypoechogenicity, round or irregular shape, eccentric cortical thickening and replacement of the fatty hilum of the LNs. The bilateral breasts, including mastectomy sites, bilateral axillae, internal mammary areas and supraclavicular areas, were included in the scan range of postoperative US.

Results: Of 280 LNs with suspicious findings for LRL, LRL of supraclavicular LNs was confirmed in 24 LNs according to cytopathology results. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that higher overall staging of primary breast cancer (odds ratio [OR] 2.361 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.302–4.282]; p=0.005), higher N staging of primary breast cancer (OR 3.086 [95% CI 1.479–6.441]; p=0.003), older patient age (OR 1.060 [95% CI 1.026–1.095]; p<0.001) and breast-conserving surgery (OR 2.253 [95% CI 1.184–4.289]; p=0.013) were independently associated with LRL of supraclavicular LNs. Tumor size, nuclear grade, histological type, hormonal receptor status of the primary cancer, and bilateral cancer were not associated with LRL (p=0.216, p=0.205, p=0.789, p=0.899, and p=0.900, respectively).

Conclusion: Routine supraclavicular scanning in postoperative screening surveillance using US in breast cancer patients with higher staging could be useful for the detection of LRL of supraclavicular LNs.



ultrasonography; lymph nodes; supraclavicular; breast neoplasms; recurrence

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11152/mu-2268


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