Ultrasonographic features and clinical implications of benign palpable breast lesions in young women.

Research paper by Richard R Ha, Hyonah H Kim, Victoria V Mango, Ralph R Wynn, Christopher C Comstock

Indexed on: 06 Dec '14Published on: 06 Dec '14Published in: Ultrasonography (Seoul, Korea)


The purpose of this study was to describe the breast ultrasonography (US) features and to investigate whether performing a core biopsy is warranted in young women having palpable solid breast masses.A total of 76 solid palpable masses in 68 consecutive women (≤25 years old) underwent tissue diagnosis by percutaneous core biopsy. Two radiologists, who were blinded to the clinical history and histopathology, independently evaluated the US features according to Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) lexicon. The frequency of benign and malignant descriptor terms that were used to characterize the lesions were compared to the final pathology.All 76 palpable solid masses yielded benign pathology. On the US, the shape of the mass was described by radiologists 1 and 2 as oval or round (63.2% and 71.1%), margin as circumscribed (68.4% and 77.6%) and orientation as parallel (85.5% and 90.8%); the frequency of using all three benign descriptors was 61.8% and 68.5%, respectively. Suspicious descriptors were used less frequently by radiologists 1 and 2 including irregular shape (9.2% and 13.1%), non-circumscribed margin (31.6% and 22.4%) and non-parallel orientation (14.5% and 9.2%); the frequency of using all three suspicious descriptors was 9.2% and 11.8%, respectively.Despite the variable US features, breast malignancy seems extremely low in 25 years or younger women for palpable breast lesions. Using the BI-RADS lexicon, US accurately predicted benignity in about two thirds of our patients, supporting US surveillance as a safe alternative to invasive tissue sampling in this setting.