The differentiation of the character of solid lesions in the breast in the compression sonoelastography. Part II: Diagnostic value of BIRADS-US classification, Tsukuba score and FLR ratio

Katarzyna Dobruch-Sobczak

Affiliation and address for correspondence
J Ultrason 2012; 13 (52): 31–49

Sonoelastography is a dynamically developing method of ultrasound examination used to differentiate the character of focal lesions in the breasts. The aim of the Part II of the study is to determine the usefulness of sonoelastography in the differentiation diagnosis of focal breast lesions including the evaluation of the diagnostic value of Tsukuba score and FLR ratio in characterizing solid lesions in the breasts. Furthermore, the paper provides a comparison of classic B-mode imaging and sonoelastography. Material and methods: From January to July 2010 in the Ultrasound Department of the Cancer Centre, The Institute of Maria Skłodowska-Curie, 375 breast ultrasound examinations were conducted. The examined group included patients who in B-mode examinations presented indications for pathological verification. They were 80 women aged between 17 and 83 (mean age was 50) with 99 solid focal lesions in the breasts. All patients underwent: the interview, physical examination, B-mode ultrasound examination and elastography of the mammary glands and axillary fossae. The visualized lesions were evaluated  according to BIRADS-US classification and Tsukuba score as well as FLR ratio was calculated. In all cases, the histopathological and/or cytological verification of the tested lesions was obtained. Results: In the group of 80 patients, the examination revealed 39 malignant neoplastic lesions and 60 benign ones. The mean age of women with malignant neoplasms was 55.07 (SD=10.54), and with benign lesions – 46.9 (SD=15.47). In order to identify threshold values that distinguish benign lesions from malignant ones, a comparative analysis of statistical models based on BIRADS-US classification and Tsukuba score was conducted and the cut-off value for FLR was assumed. The sensitivity and specificity values for BIRADS-US 4/5 were 76.92% and 96.67% and for Tsukuba 3/4 – 64.1% and 98.33% respectively. The assumed FLR threshold value to differentiate between benign and malignant lesions in the breasts equaled 3.13. The combined application of both classifications (with the threshold value of BIRADS-US 4/Tsukuba 3) improved the total value of sensitivity and specificity of character differentiation of focal lesions (87.2% and 95% respectively). Conclusions: In the case of problematic focal lesions, i.e. BIRADS-US 3, the study revealed that obtaining Tsukuba score of 1 and 2 for lesions classified as BIRADS-US 3 confirms their benign character. This allows to avoid the cytological verification.

breast sonoelastography, solid focal lesions, breast ultrasound, FLR, Tsukuba, BIRADS-US