Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Directed Ultrasound Imaging of Non-Mass Enhancement in the Breast: Outcomes and Frequency of Malignancy

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiology

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OBJECTIVES: This study was performed to determine the frequency, predictors, and outcomes of ultrasound (US) correlates for non-mass enhancement.

METHODS: From January 2005 to December 2011, a retrospective review of 5837 consecutive breast magnetic resonance imaging examinations at our institution identified 918 non-mass enhancing lesions for which follow-up or biopsy was recommended. Retrospective review of the images identified 879 of 918 lesions (96%) meeting criteria for non-mass enhancement. Patient demographics, pathologic results, and the presence of an adjacent landmark were recorded. Targeted US examinations were recommended for 331 of 879 cases (38%), and 284 of 331 women (86%) underwent US evaluations.

RESULTS: The US correlate rate for non-mass enhancement was 23% (64 of 284). An adjacent landmark was significantly associated with a US correlate (P < .001). Biopsy was recommended for 43 of 64 correlates (67%). Ultrasound-guided biopsy was performed on 39 of 43 (91%); 7 of 39 (18%) were malignant. No correlate was seen for 220 of 284 lesions (77%). At magnetic resonance imaging-guided biopsy, 14 of 117 (12%) were malignancies. For all biopsied non-mass enhancements, the malignancy rate was 18% (55 of 308) and was significantly more prevalent in the setting of a known index cancer (P < .001), older age (P < .001), the presence of a landmark (P = .002), and larger lesion size (P = .019).

CONCLUSIONS: Non-mass enhancement with an adjacent landmark is more likely to have a US correlate compared to non-mass enhancement without an adjacent landmark. Non-mass enhancement in the setting of a known index cancer, older age, a landmark, and larger lesion size is more likely to be malignant. However, no statistical difference was detected in the rate of malignancy between non-mass enhancement with (18%) or without (12%) a correlate. Absence of a correlate does not obviate the need to biopsy suspicious non-mass enhancement.


breast ultrasound, correlate, magnetic resonance imaging-directed ultrasound, non-mass enhancement

DOI of Published Version



J Ultrasound Med. 2017 Mar;36(3):493-504. doi: 10.7863/ultra.16.03001. Epub 2017 Jan 21. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of ultrasound in medicine : official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine

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