Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of preoperative bilateral whole-breast ultrasonography (US) in the detection of additional multifocal, multicentric, and contralateral cancers and the effect of US information on therapeutic decisions.
Materials and methods: Two hundred one patients who had newly diagnosed breast cancer or who were suspected of having breast cancer underwent US examination of the ipsilateral and contralateral breasts with a 10-, 12-, or 13-MHz transducer. All solid lesions found at US alone were classified according to level of suspicion and were selected for biopsy. The US results were compared with mammographic findings. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated.
Results: In ipsilateral breasts, US depicted 194 (97%) of 201 foci of invasive cancer and 52 (75%) of 69 foci of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), whereas mammography and physical examination depicted 173 (86%) foci of invasive cancer and 56 (81%) foci of DCIS. In the contralateral breast, US depicted 11 (92%) of 12 foci of invasive cancer and four (57%) of seven foci of DCIS, whereas mammography and physical examination depicted six (50%) foci of invasive cancer and five (71%) foci of DCIS. Overall, US depicted mammographically and clinically unsuspected multifocal or multicentric cancers in 28 patients (14%) and contralateral cancer in eight patients (4%). On the basis of these US findings, therapy was correctly changed in 32 patients (16%). The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of prospective classification of 77 solid lesions detected at US alone were 100% (36 of 36), 51% (21 of 41), 64% (36 of 56), and 100% (21 of 21), respectively.
Conclusion: Bilateral whole-breast US complements mammography in the preoperative evaluation of patients with breast cancer.
Copyright RSNA, 2002