Stereotactic breast biopsy of nonpalpable lesions: determinants of ductal carcinoma in situ underestimation rates

Radiology. 2001 Feb;218(2):497-502. doi: 10.1148/radiology.218.2.r01fe35497.


Purpose: To measure the effect of biopsy device, probe size, mammographic lesion type, lesion size, and number of samples obtained per lesion on the ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) underestimation rate.

Materials and methods: Nonpalpable breast lesions at 16 institutions received a histologic diagnosis of DCIS after 14-gauge automated large-core biopsy in 373 lesions and after 14- or 11-gauge directional vacuum-assisted biopsy in 953 lesions. The presence of histopathologic invasive carcinoma was noted at subsequent surgical biopsy.

Results: By performing the chi(2) test, independent significant DCIS underestimation rates by biopsy device were 20.4% (76 of 373) of lesions diagnosed at large-core biopsy and 11.2% (107 of 953) of lesions diagnosed at vacuum-assisted biopsy (P <.001); by lesion type, 24.3% (35 of 144) of masses and 12.5% (148 of 1,182) of microcalcifications (P <.001); and by number of specimens per lesion, 17.5% (88 of 502) with 10 or fewer specimens and 11.5% (92 of 799) with greater than 10 (P <.02). DCIS underestimations increased with lesion size.

Conclusion: DCIS underestimations were 1.9 times more frequent with masses than with calcifications, 1.8 times more frequent with large-core biopsy than with vacuum-assisted biopsy, and 1.5 times more frequent with 10 or fewer specimens per lesion than with more than 10 specimens per lesion.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Axilla
  • Biopsy / instrumentation*
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Breast / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / secondary
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Specimen Handling / instrumentation