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Surgical biopsy is still necessary for BI-RADS 4 calcifications found on digital mammography that are technically too faint for stereotactic core biopsy



Surgical biopsy is still necessary for BI-RADS 4 calcifications found on digital mammography that are technically too faint for stereotactic core biopsy



Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 154(3): 557-561



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of faint BI-RADS 4 calcifications detected with digital mammography that were not amenable to stereotactic core biopsy due to suboptimal visualization. Following Institutional Review Board approval, a HIPAA compliant retrospective search identified 665 wire-localized surgical excisions of calcifications in 606 patients between 2007 and 2010. We included all patients that had surgical excision for initial diagnostic biopsy due to poor calcification visualization, whose current imaging was entirely digital and performed at our institution and who did not have a diagnosis of breast cancer within the prior 2 years. The final study population consisted of 20 wire-localized surgical biopsies in 19 patients performed instead of stereotactic core biopsy due to poor visibility of faint calcifications. Of the 20 biopsies, 4 (20% confidence intervals 2, 38%) were malignant, 5 (25%) showed atypia and 11 (55%) were benign. Of the malignant cases, two were invasive ductal carcinoma (2 and 1.5 mm), one was intermediate grade DCIS and one was low-grade DCIS. Malignant calcifications ranged from 3 to 12 mm. The breast density was scattered in 6/19 (32%), heterogeneously dense in 11/19 (58%) and extremely dense in 2/19 (10%). Digital mammography-detected faint calcifications that were not amenable to stereotactic biopsy due to suboptimal visualization had a risk of malignancy of 20%. While infrequent, these calcifications should continue to be considered suspicious and surgical biopsy recommended.

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Accession: 058941398

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26589316

DOI: 10.1007/s10549-015-3640-8


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