Malignant Lesions Initially Categorized as Probably Benign Breast Lesions: Retrospective Review of Ultrasonographic, Clinical and Pathologic Characteristics

Hee Jung Moon, Min Jung Kim, Jin Young Kwak, Jung Hyun Yoon, Soo Jin Kim, Yu Mee Sohn, Eun Kyung Kim

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The primary objective of this study was to review the ultrasonographic features of BI-RADS category 3 (" probably benign" ) lesions that eventually proved to be malignant. A second objective was to investigate their clinical and pathologic features according to their palpability and time of biopsy. Thirty-two (0.8%) of 4000 women with lesions that were initially classified as " probably benign" proved to be malignant and formed the study group. The most common reason for a false negative assessment on ultrasound was a failure to recognize suspicious margin characteristics (28 of 32 malignancies, 87.5%). Malignancy was more frequent in palpable (2.4%, 21 of 859) than nonpalpable lesions (0.4%, 11 of 3141, p < 0.001). There was no statistical difference in the mean age, mean size of lesions, or tumor stage between patients who underwent early biopsy (n = 19) or biopsy after 6 months (n = 13). Twenty-nine of the lesions (90.6%) were retrospectively recategorized as BI-RADS 4, which calls for early biopsy. BI-RADS 3 lesions require especially careful assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-559
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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