Introduction: Many young females present with an advanced stage of breast cancer, which has a negative effect on the prognosis. Digital breast tomosynthesis is a new emerging imaging technique that aids in improving the specificity of mammography with subsequent early detection of breast cancer, especially in women with radiographically dense breasts. Tomosynthesis is subjectively preferred to conventional mammography and may offer superior diagnostic accuracy for the evaluation of breast lesions.
Method: Two breast radiologists retrospectively reviewed asymmetric densities using protocols that were institutional review board-approved in 185 patients aged 18 - 70 years (mean: 48 years) who underwent diagnostic mammography and tomosynthesis. Each asymmetric density was interpreted once with tomosynthesis and once with supplemental mammographic views; both modes included the mediolateral oblique and craniocaudal views in a fully crossed and balanced design by using a five-category Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) assessment and a probability-of-malignancy score. If the abnormality persisted and appeared benign or completely disappeared on both modalities, the agreement between additional views and tomosynthesis was determined by calculating Kappa value. If there was a discrepancy between additional views and tomosynthesis, the abnormality was subjected to ultrasound. In our study, 89 asymmetric densities were subjected to ultrasound.
Results: In a total of 182 cases, 84 (46.15%) were categorized as BIRADS-0; 97 (53.30 %) as BIRADS-I, and one (0.55 %) as BIRADS-II on an additional view. Among the asymmetric densities categorized as BIRADS-0 on additional mammography views, digital breast tomosynthesis categorized 72, six, five, and one patient as BIRADS-0, BIRADS-I, BIRADS-II, and BIRADS-IV, respectively. For densities categorized as BIRADS-I (97) on additional view, digital breast tomosynthesis categorized 10 and 87 densities as BIRADS-0 and BIRADS-I, respectively. No change in the BIRADS category was observed among BIRADS-II and BIRADS-IV. A significant difference was observed with the chi-square test among BIRADS categories assigned by an additional view and digital breast tomosynthesis with a p-value of < 0.001. There was, however, a substantial agreement among additional views and tomosynthesis with a kappa value of 0.767.
Conclusion: Our study results suggest that tomosynthesis may be equivalent to, if not more equivalent to, additional imaging in the assessment of mammographically-detected asymmetric densities, thus improving BI-RADS classification and patient management.
Alvi, M. I.,
(2020). Digital breast tomosynthesis versus additional diagnostic mammographic views for the evaluation of asymmetric mammographic densities. Cureus, 12(8), e9637.
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