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Women with radial scars should undergo a surgical excision to rule out an underlying malignancy

Any patient with a breast lesion classified as a radial scar classified at percutaneous biopsy should undergo a surgical excision to rule out an underlying malignancy, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (

"Radial scars are complex breast lesions that are classified as benign," said Anna Linda, MD, lead author of the study. "However up to 40 percent of them are associated with an underlying malignancy," said Linda.

The study, performed at Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria, University of Udine in Italy, included 62 patients with radial scars based upon image-guided biopsy results. "Surgical findings later revealed that five out of those 62 lesions were malignant and 40 were high risk," said Linda. Mammographic and sonographic appearances were not significantly different between radial scars with and those without associated malignancy.

"A diagnosis of a radial scar based on percutaneous biopsy results does not exclude an associated malignancy at subsequent surgical excision; and mammographic and sonographic appearances of a lesion diagnosed as a radial scar are not able to predict which lesions will have associated malignancy at subsequent surgical excision," she said.

"Our results suggest that surgical excision is required for lesions yielding radial scars at percutaneous biopsy regardless of their mammographic and sonographic appearance," said Linda.


Contact: Heather Curry
American College of Radiology / American Roentgen Ray Society

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