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In European radiology ; h5-index 62.0

OBJECTIVES : To investigate whether the application of the Kaiser score for breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might downgrade breast lesions that present as mammographic calcifications and avoid unnecessary breast biopsies METHODS: This IRB-approved, retrospective, cross-sectional, single-center study included 167 consecutive patients with suspicious mammographic calcifications and histopathologically verified results. These patients underwent a pre-interventional breast MRI exam for further diagnostic assessment before vacuum-assisted stereotactic-guided biopsy (95 malignant and 72 benign lesions). Two breast radiologists with different levels of experience independently read all examinations using the Kaiser score, a machine learning-derived clinical decision-making tool that provides probabilities of malignancy by a formalized combination of diagnostic criteria. Diagnostic performance was assessed by receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis and inter-reader agreement by the calculation of Cohen's kappa coefficients.

RESULTS : Application of the Kaiser score revealed a large area under the ROC curve (0.859-0.889). Rule-out criteria, with high sensitivity, were applied to mass and non-mass lesions alike. The rate of potentially avoidable breast biopsies ranged between 58.3 and 65.3%, with the lowest rate observed with the least experienced reader.

CONCLUSIONS : Applying the Kaiser score to breast MRI allows stratifying the risk of breast cancer in lesions that present as suspicious calcifications on mammography and may thus avoid unnecessary breast biopsies.

KEY POINTS : • The Kaiser score is a helpful clinical decision tool for distinguishing malignant from benign breast lesions that present as calcifications on mammography. • Application of the Kaiser score may obviate 58.3-65.3% of unnecessary stereotactic biopsies of suspicious calcifications. • High Kaiser scores predict breast cancer with high specificity, aiding clinical decision-making with regard to re-biopsy in case of negative results.

Wengert G J, Pipan F, Almohanna J, Bickel H, Polanec S, Kapetas P, Clauser P, Pinker K, Helbich T H, Baltzer P A T


Breast cancer, Calcifications, Clinical decision-making, Magnetic resonance imaging, Scoring system