OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of the sonographic features in the BI-RADS lexicon for predicting malignancy grade of invasive ductal breast carcinoma in women assigned a BI-RADS category of 4 or 5.
MATERIALS AND METHODS. Two radiologists retrospectively evaluated 299 consecutive cases of grades 1–3 invasive ductal breast carcinoma presenting as a mass in consensus by using the BI-RADS sonographic lexicon. Histologic grade was established on surgical specimens. Effect sizes were calculated via the Goodman and Kruskal tau, an asymmetric measure of strength of nominal association, and results were interpreted in terms of proportional reduction in error.
RESULTS. Thirty-eight lesions (13%) were grade 1, 153 (51%) were grade 2, and 108 (36%) were grade 3, with the majority of all masses showing an irregular shape (84%) and hypoechoic echotexture (82%). Of the sonographic features examined, malignancy grade was best predicted by posterior acoustics (τ = 0.13, p < 0.001), lesion boundary (τ = 0.05, p < 0.001), and margin (τ = 0.04, p = 0.001). Among grade 3 lesions, there were significantly more lesions with posterior enhancement (53 vs 27.6; adjusted standardized residuals (zres) = 7; p < 0.001), abrupt interfaces (68 vs 51.2; zres = 4; p < 0.001), and microlobulated margins (12 vs 5.8; zres = 3; p = 0.001) than would be expected.
CONCLUSION. Malignancy grade was slightly to moderately predicted by margin, lesion boundary, and acoustic sonographic features. In particular, grade 3 invasive ductal breast carcinomas were more likely than expected to display microlobulated margins, abrupt interfaces, and posterior enhancement