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Second opinion interpretation of breast ultrasound images-Is it worth another look?

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To determine if real-time breast ultrasound (RTUR) after second opinion reinterpretation of submitted static ultrasound images at a comprehensive cancer center impacts clinical management, specifically by detecting additional cancer and preventing unnecessary biopsy.

      Materials and methods

      In this IRB-approved and HIPAA-compliant retrospective study, 209 patients were included who had breast ultrasound studies from outside facilities submitted for second opinion review between January 2013 and May 2014, and who subsequently underwent RTUR at our institution within three months of the outside study. Findings on submitted exams were compared with those on RTUR and disagreements between them were annotated to indicate the presence or absence of suspicious lesions and recommendation for biopsy. Changes in management were defined as any additional biopsies performed or biopsies averted after RTUR and reported as frequencies and percentages using 95% confidence intervals.

      Results

      Following RTUR, 49 additional biopsies were performed in 43/209 patients (20.6%; 95% CI 15.1–26.1%). Additional cancer was found in 12/49 (24.5%) biopsies in 11/209 patients (5.3%; 95% CI 2.2–8.2%). Forty biopsies in 31/209 (14.8%; CI 10.0–19.7%) patients originally recommended were canceled after RTUR. Overall, a change in management after RTUR was observed in 68/209 patients (32.5%; 95% CI 26.1–38.9%), including patients with either additional biopsies performed or biopsies averted.

      Conclusion

      RTUR was found to be an important tool in the management of patients at our comprehensive cancer center. Although additional false-positive lesions may be detected on RTUR, a great number of patients will benefit from RTUR in finding additional cancers or avoiding unnecessary biopsies.

      Abbreviations:

      MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System), RTUR (real-time ultrasound re-evaluation), US (ultrasound)

      Keywords

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