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Bi-rads final assessment categories in breast cancer patients
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INTRODUCTION: The Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) was developed by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The BI-RADS is an internationally accepted method of assessing and reporting on mammograms and breast ultrasound images. The BI-RADS consists of a lexicon (descriptors) and assessment categories. The ACR aimed to standardise mammography reporting and placing the findings in the appropriate assessment category. The aim of this study was to establish the accuracy of the BI-RADS assessment categories for mammography and breast ultrasound images in women diagnosed with breast cancer. METHOD: Data were retrieved from 77 patients who were diagnosed with breast cancer from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2014. Seven did not meet the inclusion criteria and were excluded. The study sample size was 70 (n=70) patients. All mammography reports included a BI-RADS assessment category of all patients diagnosed with breast cancer within the study period. These reports were analysed and compared with histopathology results. The BI-RADS assessment category and descriptors were collected from the mammogram reports; the histopathology report indicated the type of breast cancer. All reports were obtained from the patients' folders at the research site. In addition, questionnaires were distributed among radiologists to assess whether their experience and training had an influence on the accuracy of reporting in the BI-RADS assessment categories. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis was used for data analysis. RESULTS: The most common malignancy diagnosed was invasive ductal carcinoma with a total of 70% (n=54), followed by ductal carcinoma in situ with 10.4% (n=8) and invasive lobular carcinoma with 9.1% (n=7). The histology results confirmed breast cancer for all BI-RADS 4 and 5 assessment categories. The mammogram was able to detect 93.5% of abnormalities and breast ultrasound 84.4% of abnormalities in this study sample. Breast ultrasound was used as an adjunct to mammography and hence an overall combined diagnostic rate was 100%. Mammography descriptors: The more common malignancy findings were spiculated mass margin, 35.1% (n=27). Ultrasound descriptors: The more common malignancy findings were hypoechoic echo pattern, 55.8% (n=43). There was no significant association (p=0.152) between the radiologists' years of experience and BI-RADS 3, 4 and 5 assessment category reporting. Of the 15 responses, 67% agreed that the BI-RADS standardises breast imaging reporting and reduces confusion, 33% agreed that the BI-RADS allows better communication between radiologists and referring physicians, and 40% agreed that the BI-RADS clarifies further management for patients by helping to stratify risk management. CONCLUSION: The outcome of this study indicated that the use of BI-RADS assessment categories is useful for predicting the likelihood of malignancy when used correctly. The outcome of BI-RADS 4 and BI-RADS 5 had a positive predictive value of 100%, which corresponded well with histology results. The descriptor findings suggested that spiculated mass margins, irregular-shaped masses, hypoechoic echo pattern and posterior shadowing were high predictors of malignancy and warranted a placement in the BI-RADS 5 assessment category.
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