Breast ultrasound boosts detection, benign biopsies

December 1, 2007

Breast ultrasound significantly increases detection of cancers in high-risk women but takes a big toll in the rate of benign biopsies, according to the initial results of a screening trial sponsored by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network and the Avon Foundation.

Breast ultrasound significantly increases detection of cancers in high-risk women but takes a big toll in the rate of benign biopsies, according to the initial results of a screening trial sponsored by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network and the Avon Foundation.

The ACRIN study of about 2800 women showed that breast ultrasound increased the detection yield over mammography by 4.2 cancers per 1000 high-risk women, said principal investigator Dr. Wendie Berg of American Radiology Services in Lutherville, MD. However, mammography prompted biopsies in 2.6% of cases, 29% of which were positive. In comparison, ultrasound prompted biopsies in 5% of cases, and only 8.8% were positive.

Berg released the data at the 2007 Fall ACRIN meeting in Arlington, VA.