To determine whether MRI-detected suspicious (BIRADS 4 & 5) breast lesions can be downgraded using second-look ultrasound (SLU) and thus reduce unnecessarily performed breast biopsies.
A retrospective single-center review of consecutive patients, who underwent breast MRI studies during a 12-month time period was performed. 94 patients with 103 lesions undergoing SLU of incidentally detected MRI BI-RADS 4&5 lesions which were not identified on previous ultrasound were included in the study. The SLU detection rate and SLU features of the lesions were assessed. Histology (91/103) or two year follow up (n = 12) were defined as the reference standard for lesion diagnosis.
57 (55.3 %) of the 103 lesions were identified on SLU. 17 of the identified lesions were malignant (29.8 %). Lesions detected on ultrasound presented on MRI as masses in 66.7 % (38/57) and non-mass in 33.3 % (19/57). Our findings showed that it is possible to distinguish between malignant and benign lesions with SLU. The results were significant (p < 0.05) for the following morphological features: shape, orientation, margins, architectural distortion, hyperechoic rim/ edema. All lesions classified as SLU BI-RADS 2 in our study were benign and thus, 30 % of all unnecessary biopsies could potentially have been avoided. Including SLU BI-RADS 3 lesions, this rate increased to 60 %, while yielding one (of 17, 5.8 %) false negative result. All three BI-RADS 5 lesions detected by SLU presented as malignant on ultrasound.
SLU can potentially downgrade incidental MRI BIRADS 4 lesions. This may reduce the number of unnecessarily performed biopsies by 30-60 %, thus simplifying patient management.
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