BI-RADS 4 breast lesions: could multi-mode ultrasound be helpful for their diagnosis?

Gang Liu, Meng-Ke Zhang, Yan He, Yuan Liu, Xi-Ru Li, Zhi-Li Wang


Background: The malignant probability of Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) 4 breast lesions is 3–94%, which is a very large span, and thus leads to a high rate of unnecessary biopsy. Therefore, the differential diagnosis of benign and malignant BI-RADS 4 breast lesions has become extremely important. Thus, in this paper, we investigated the diagnostic value of conventional ultrasonography (US), contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and shear wave elastography (SWE) for BI-RADS 4 breast lesions, and tried to figure out a multi-mode ultrasonic method for them.
Methods: From March 2016 to May 2017, 118 breast lesions that were categorized as BI-RADS 4 lesions by US were studied with CEUS and SWE. All the lesions were confirmed by pathology via surgery or vacuum-assisted biopsy. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of US, CEUS and SWE were analyzed. Then the diagnostic efficacies of US, CEUS, SWE and the combination of these modalities were compared. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the independent risk factors. A multi-mode method to evaluate BI-RADS 4 lesions based on the logistic regression was developed.
Results: Of the 118 BI-RADS 4 lesions, 74 lesions (62.7%) were benign and 44 lesions (37.3%) were malignant. The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for US, US + CEUS, US + SWE, US + CEUS + SWE were 88.6% and 75.7%, 86.4% and 94.6%, 88.6% and 90.5%, 97.7% and 93.2%, respectively. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) of US + SWE + CEUS was significantly higher than that of US (P<0.0001), US + CEUS (P=0.020), but there was no significant difference between the AUC of US + SWE + CEUS and the AUC of US + SWE.
Conclusions: US + CEUS + SWE and US + SWE could significantly improve the diagnostic efficiency and accuracy of US in the diagnosis of BI-RADS 4 breast lesions.