PPV of the Molecular Breast Imaging Lexicon

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2023 Jan;220(1):40-48. doi: 10.2214/AJR.21.27047. Epub 2022 Jul 20.


BACKGROUND. Molecular breast imaging (MBI) is used for various breast imaging indications. An MBI lexicon has been developed, although the likelihood of malignancy of the lexicon descriptors has not been assessed to our knowledge. OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this article was to evaluate the PPV for malignancy of the MBI lexicon imaging descriptors. METHODS. This retrospective study included MBI examinations performed from August 1, 2005, through August 31, 2017, that were positive (BI-RADS analogous categories 0, 3, 4, 5, or 6) according to the clinical report and had an available reference standard. Examinations were performed using dual-detector cadmium zinc telluride MBI systems after injection of 99mTc sestamibi. Category 3 lesions had pathologic correlation, at least 2 years of imaging follow-up, or final resolution on follow-up imaging as category 1 or 2; category 4 and 5 lesions had pathologic correlation. MBI examinations were reviewed by one of two radiologists to assess lesions on the basis of the published MBI lexicon for type (mass vs nonmass uptake), distribution (if nonmass uptake), uptake intensity, and number of MBI views on which the lesion was seen. PPV for malignancy was summarized. RESULTS. The analysis included 643 lesions (479 benign, 164 malignant; 83 mass, 560 nonmass uptake) in 509 patients (median age, 56 years). PPV was 73.5% (61/83) for masses and 18.4% (103/560) for nonmass uptake. Among the nonmass uptake lesions, PPV was 36.2% (17/47) for segmental, 20.1% (77/384) for focal, 30.8% (4/13) for diffuse, and 4.3% (5/116) for regional or multiple regional distribution. PPV was 5.3% (5/94) for one view, 15.2% (32/210) for two views, 14.6% (13/89) for three views, and 45.4% (113/249) for four views showing the lesion. PPV was 14.0% (43/307) for mild, 22.4% (51/228) for moderate, and 64.8% (70/108) for marked uptake intensity. CONCLUSION. The MBI lexicon lesion descriptors are associated with likelihood of malignancy. PPV was higher for masses, lesions seen on multiple MBI views, and lesions with marked uptake intensity. Among nonmass uptake lesions, PPV was highest for those with segmental distribution. CLINICAL IMPACT. Insight into the likelihood of malignancy associated with the MBI lexicon descriptors can inform radiologists' interpretations and guide potential future incorporation of the MBI lexicon into the ACR BI-RADS Atlas.

Keywords: breast; breast neoplasms diagnosis; female; molecular breast imaging; predictive value of tests.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Mammography* / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Examination
  • Probability
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Retrospective Studies