Lesions with unclear malignant potential (B3) after minimally invasive breast biopsy: evaluation of vacuum biopsies performed in Switzerland and recommended further management

Acta Radiol. 2016 Jul;57(7):815-21. doi: 10.1177/0284185115610931. Epub 2015 Nov 8.


Background: Histopathological B3 lesions after minimal invasive breast biopsy (VABB) are a particular challenge for the clinician, as there are currently no binding recommendations regarding the subsequent procedure.

Purpose: To analyze all B3 lesions, diagnosed at VABB and captured in the national central Swiss MIBB database and to provide a data basis for further management in this subgroup of patients.

Material and methods: All 9,153 stereotactically, sonographically, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided vacuum-assisted breast biopsies, performed in Switzerland between 2009 and 2011, captured in a central database, were evaluated. The rate of B3 lesions and the definitive pathological findings in patients who underwent surgical resection were analyzed.

Results: The B3 rate was 17.0% (1532 of 9000 biopsies with B classification). Among the 521 lesions with a definitive postoperative diagnosis, the malignancy rate (invasive carcinoma or DCIS) was 21.5%. In patients with atypical ductal hyperplasia, papillary lesions, flat epithelial atypia, lobular neoplasia, and radial scar diagnosed by VABB, the malignancy rates were 25.9%, 3.1%, 18.3%, 26.4%, and 11.1%, respectively.

Conclusion: B3 lesions, comprising 17%, of all analyzed biopsies, were common and the proportion of malignancies in those lesions undergoing subsequent surgical excision was high (21.5%).

Keywords: B3 lesion; Breast cancer; ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS); invasive carcinoma; uncertain malignant potential; vacuum-assisted breast biopsy.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image-Guided Biopsy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Interventional
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional
  • Vacuum