Ultrasound and mammography guided wire marking of non-palpable breast lesions: analysis of 741 cases

Ultraschall Med. 2007 Jun;28(3):283-90. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-927238. Epub 2007 Feb 21.


Purpose: Aim of the study were to evaluate the success of ultrasound and mammography guided wire marking of non-palpable breast lesions and the results of specimen mammography/ultrasonography, completeness of resection, and number of secondary resections (during the initial surgical session and as a separate intervention) were analysed.

Materials and methods: Between May 1994 and December 2004, 668 women with 741 non-palpable breast lesions underwent surgery at the Greifswald University Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. Ultrasound directed wire marking was used in 418, mammography directed marking in 284 cases. In 39 lesions, both techniques were combined.

Results: Out of all lesions approached with ultrasound directed wire marking, 88 (21.1 %) were malignant. Among lesions marked during mammography, 52 (19.3 %) were malignant. Specimen ultrasonography indicated that 90.9 % of lesions were resected completely. Specimen mammography demonstrated complete resection in 89.1 %. On histological examination, 19.5 % of the malignant lesions marked with sonographic guiding and 36.5 % of the malignant lesions marked with mammographic guiding did not have clear margins. Secondary resections (during the first procedure) for incomplete specimens were needed in 10 patients in whom sonographic localisation had been used, and in 25 patients in whom mammographic localisation had been employed. A second surgical session for secondary resection was required in 5.5 % of lesions marked with ultrasound and in 12.3 % of lesions marked with mammography guidance.

Conclusion: Sonography directed wire localisation appears to be superior to the respective mammographic method. Ultrasound guided wire marking should be considered the preferred method for all mammographic lesions with an ultrasonographic equivalent and no micro-calcifications.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Diseases / surgery
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography / instrumentation
  • Mammography / methods*
  • Palpation
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonography / methods*