OAK BROOK, Ill. Based on data from a multi-site imaging trial involving more than 2,600 women, researchers say breast lesions categorized as 'probably benign' on supplemental screening ultrasound could be re-evaluated with imaging in 12 months, reducing patient anxiety, follow-up exams and unnecessary biopsies. Results of the study are published online in the journal Radiology.
In the study, a team of researchers analyzed data from the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) trial 6666, in which both annual mammography and ultrasound screenings were performed on women with dense breasts at 21 sites around the country. Ultrasound is increasingly being used as a supplement to screening mammography because it is able to detect breast cancers that may not be visible with mammography, especially in dense breasts.
"Supplemental ultrasound screening increases cancer detection beyond mammography alone, but may also result in an increased number of additional tests," said lead researcher Richard G. Barr, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology at the Northeast Ohio Medical University in Youngstown, Ohio. "Both screening ultrasound and screening mammography have similar issues: to find breast cancers, a large number of biopsies must be performed, most of which turn out to be negative."
Dr. Barr and colleagues analyzed the trial's ultrasound-detected lesions assessed as probably benign or category 3 of the Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS), a standardized system of assessing breast lesions and their probability of malignancy based on appearance, to determine the prevalence and malignancy rate of these lesions.
Guidelines suggest that BI-RADS 3 lesions should be monitored for suspicious changes with additional imaging at intervals of six, 12 and 24 months.
"BI-RADS 3 lesions are common on screening ultrasound and often lead to unnecessary biopsies and additional imaging, causing substantial co
|Contact: Linda Brooks|
Radiological Society of North America