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Calcifications with suspicious morphology at mammography: should they all be considered with the same clinical significance?

 Woo Jung Choi  ;  Kyunghwa Han  ;  Hee Jung Shin  ;  Jihye Lee  ;  Eun-Kyung Kim  ;  Jung Hyun Yoon 
 EUROPEAN RADIOLOGY, Vol.31(4) : 2529-2538, 2021-04 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Breast Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging ; Calcinosis* / diagnostic imaging ; Female ; Humans ; Mammography ; Middle Aged ; Predictive Value of Tests ; Prospective Studies ; Retrospective Studies
Breast ; Breast neoplasm ; Mammography ; Microcalcification
Objectives: To evaluate the positive predictive values (PPVs) of calcifications with suspicious morphology by incorporating distribution and clinical factors in two separate cohorts to provide more practical guidance for management. Methods: This retrospective study included 1076 consecutive women from two cohorts (cohort A, 556; cohort B, 520), with calcifications of suspicious morphology seen on mammography that were pathologically confirmed or followed with mammography. Reader-averaged PPVs of the calcifications were analyzed and compared by logistic regression using the generalized estimating equation. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate independent factors associated with the PPVs of suspicious calcifications. Results: Overall reader-averaged PPVs of suspicious calcifications were 16.8% and 15.2% in cohort A and B, respectively. Reader-averaged PPVs according to morphology in cohort A and B were as follows: amorphous 9.1%, 6.4%; coarse heterogeneous 16.1%, 22.1%; fine pleomorphic 78.8%, 44.7%; and fine linear branching 78.6%, 85.1%, respectively (p < 0.001). PPVs for diffuse amorphous combinations were 2.6% and 2.6%, and for regional amorphous calcifications, 3.6% and 3.1%, respectively. Among diffuse amorphous calcifications, the PPVs for women ≥ 50 years and women without a personal history of breast cancer ranged from 0.0 to 1.9%. Conclusions: Amorphous calcifications have lower reader-averaged PPVs compared to calcifications with other suspicious morphology, falling into the BI-RADS 4a assessment (PPV 2-10%). Amorphous calcifications with diffuse distributions detected in women > 50 years old and without a personal history of breast cancer have reader-averaged PPVs < 2.0%. Further prospective studies are necessary to confirm if these patients can be managed with imaging follow-up. Key points: • In two cohorts, reader-averaged positive predictive values (PPVs) for suspicious calcifications showed lower rates for amorphous calcifications. • In two separate cohorts, reader-averaged PPVs showed lower rates for diffuse amorphous calcifications, falling into the BI-RADS 4a assessment category (PPV 2-10%). • Diffuse amorphous calcifications detected in women > 50 years old and without a personal history of breast cancer have reader-averaged PPVs < 2.0%.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Radiology (영상의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Eun-Kyung(김은경) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3368-5013
Yoon, Jung Hyun(윤정현) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2100-3513
Lee, Ji Hye(이지혜) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1501-9105
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