The accuracy of breast ultrasound in the evaluation of clinically benign discrete, symptomatic breast lumps.
Clin Radiol. 1998 Jul;53(7):490-2. PMID: 9714387
Department of Radiology, Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham, UK.
INTRODUCTION: Recent reports have suggested that breast ultrasound (US) is of value in distinguishing malignant from benign processes. The aim of this study was to establish the accuracy of US in detecting invasive malignancy in clinically benign, discrete, symptomatic breast lumps.
METHODS: The US appearances of 205 clinically benign breast masses were documented prospectively and prior to mammography by one radiologist (AJE). The US appearances were then correlated with the fine needle aspiration (FNA), core biopsy and surgical findings and compared with the mammographic findings.
RESULTS: The US findings were normal 72 (35%), simple cyst 63 (31%), solid benign 51 (25%), solid indeterminate 15 (7%) and solid malignant four (2%). Ultrasound characterized 13 (93%) of the 14 patients found to have invasive carcinoma as indeterminate or malignant. No patients with normal or simple cyst US findings had invasive malignancy. Ultrasound had significantly better accuracy (97% vs 87%, P<0.02) sensitivity (93% vs 57%, P<0.05) and negative predictive value (99% vs 92%, P<0.002) than mammography in the detection of invasive carcinoma when indeterminate and malignant imaging findings were taken as positive.
CONCLUSION: US is a useful adjunct to FNA/core biopsy in confirming the nature of symptomatic, clinically benign breast masses and is superior to mammography in this clinical setting.