R Woitek, C Spick, M Schernthaner, M Rudas, P Kapetas, M Bernathova, J Furtner, K Pinker, TH Helbich, PAT Baltzer
OBJECTIVES: To assess whether using the Tree flowchart obviates unnecessary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided biopsies in breast lesions only visible on MRI. METHODS: This retrospective IRB-approved study evaluated consecutive suspicious (BI-RADS 4) breast lesions only visible on MRI that were referred to our institution for MRI-guided biopsy. All lesions were evaluated according to the Tree flowchart for breast MRI by experienced readers. The Tree flowchart is a decision rule that assigns levels of suspicion to specific combinations of diagnostic criteria. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to evaluate diagnostic accuracy. To assess reproducibility by kappa statistics, a second reader rated a subset of 82 patients. RESULTS: There were 454 patients with 469 histopathologically verified lesions included (98 malignant, 371 benign lesions). The area under the curve (AUC) of the Tree flowchart was 0.873 (95% CI: 0.839-0.901). The inter-reader agreement was almost perfect (kappa: 0.944; 95% CI 0.889-0.998). ROC analysis revealed exclusively benign lesions if the Tree node was ≤2, potentially avoiding unnecessary biopsies in 103 cases (27.8%). CONCLUSIONS: Using the Tree flowchart in breast lesions only visible on MRI, more than 25% of biopsies could be avoided without missing any breast cancer. KEY POINTS: • The Tree flowchart may obviate >25% of unnecessary MRI-guided breast biopsies. • This decrease in MRI-guided biopsies does not cause any false-negative cases. • The Tree flowchart predicts 30.6% of malignancies with >98% specificity. • The Tree's high specificity aids in decision-making after benign biopsy results.