Background: Most cases of breast lesions of uncertain malignant potential (B3) undergo surgical intervention. We aimed to analyze the outcome of B3 lesion subtypes in a large series of screen-detected cases.
Methods: We screened 2,986 core needle biopsies to classify B3 lesions. Positive predictive values (PPVs) for malignancy were calculated for a comprehensive risk characterization according to clinicopathologic and morphologic variables.
Results: B3 lesions comprised 35% atypical ductal hyperplasia (PPV = 20%), 16.7% flat epithelial atypia (PPV = 12%), 22.7% lobular neoplasia (PPV = 16.2%), 9% papillary lesion (PPV = 18.5%), 8.6% phyllodes tumor (PPV = 3.8%), and 8% radial scars (PPV = 4.1%) based on histopathologic diagnosis. Upgrade rates were 15.9% for calcifications, 13.7% for mass lesions, and 16.7% for architectural deformities, with 8.3% of malignant lesions classified as ductal carcinoma in situ and 6.7% as invasive cancers (PPV = 15%).
Conclusion: B3 lesions entail a heterogeneous risk of malignancy, and careful radiologic-pathologic correlation is required for optimal treatment.
Keywords: B3; Breast neoplasm; mammography screening; needle core biopsy; positive predictive value.