Infected breast sebaceous cyst

Images and text by Genevieve Carbonatto

A patient presents with a small painful breast lump. This is her ultrasound

The cyst is well circumscribed , is associated with posterior acoustic shadowing and has a number of internal echos suggesting sediment.


Cyst measures I.48 cm X 2.31cm


Features of sebaceous cysts on ultrasound (1)

  • Located in the skin or subcutaneous tissue
  • Small
  • Hypoechoic
  • Hyperechoic alternating rings may sometimes be seen
  • May have a characteristic track seen extending into the skin surface
  • May show “flow” on colour Doppler

Ultrasound features of a benign breast lump  (2)

  • Well defined edges
  • lobulated margins (macrolobulation)
  • Oval shape
  • Thin echogenic pseudocapsule
  • Edge attenuation
  • Posterior enhancement
  • Homogenous internal echo pattern
  • Compressibility


  1. Radiopaedia : Breast sebaceous cyst Dr Jeremy Jones and Dr Yuranga Weerakkody ://
  2. Clinical Ultrasound: Paul Allan, Grant Baxter, Michael Weston


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