Articles

IDENTIFICATION AND DESCRIPTION OF THE AXILLARY WEB SYNDROME (AWS) BY CLINICAL SIGNS, MRI AND US IMAGING

Authors
  • O Leduc
  • E Fumiere
  • S Banse
  • C Vandervorst
  • A Clement
  • T Parijs
  • F Wilputte
  • F Maquerlot
  • M Ezquer Echandia
  • A Tinlot
  • A Leduc

Abstract

The Axillary Web Syndrome (AWS) follows surgery for breast neoplasia and consists of one, or more frequently two or three, cords of subcutaneous tissue. Cords originate from the axilla, spread to the anteromedial surface of the arm down to the elbow and then move into the antero-medial aspect of the forearm and sometimes into the root of the thumb. The purpose of this study was to compare two techniques, ultrasound (US) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for their sensitivity and accuracy in identifying AWS cords and to provide insights to the origin of this pathology. US examinations were performed on fifteen patients using a high frequency probe (17MHz). We first palpated and marked the cord with location aided by maximum abduction. To identify the cord with MRI (1.5 Tesla), a catheter filled with a gel detectable under MRI was placed on the skin at the site of the cord. We found that in some US cases, the dynamic abduction maneuver was essential to facilitate detection of the cord. This dynamic method on ultrasound confirmed the precise location of the cord even if it was located deeper in the hypodermis fascia junction. US and MRI images revealed features of the cords and surrounding tissues. Imaging the cords was difficult with either of the imaging modalities. However, US seemed to be more efficient than MRI and allowed dynamic evaluation. Overall analysis of our study results supports a lymphatic origin of the AWS cord.

Keywords: axillary web syndrome, lymphatic, cords, ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, breast cancer, axillary node dissection

How to Cite:

Leduc, O., Fumiere, E., Banse, S., Vandervorst, C., Clement, A., Parijs, T., Wilputte, F., Maquerlot, F., Ezquer Echandia, M., Tinlot, A. & Leduc, A., (2014) “IDENTIFICATION AND DESCRIPTION OF THE AXILLARY WEB SYNDROME (AWS) BY CLINICAL SIGNS, MRI AND US IMAGING”, Lymphology 47(4), 164-176.

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Published on
10 Apr 2014
Peer Reviewed