MRI in the Assessment of BI-RADS® 4 lesions

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Abstract

The American College of Radiology (ACR) Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) lexicon, which is used ubiquitously to standardize reporting of breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), provides 7 BI-RADS assessment categories to indicate the level of suspicion of malignancy and guide further management. A BI-RADS category 4 assessment is assigned when an imaging abnormality does not fulfill the typical criteria for malignancy, but is suspicious enough to warrant a recommendation for biopsy. The BI-RADS category 4 assessment covers a wide range of probability of malignancy, from >2 to <95%. MRI is an essential noninvasive technique in breast imaging and the role of MRI in the assessment of ACR BI-RADS 4 lesions is manifold. In lesions classified as suspicious on imaging with mammography, digital breast tomosynthesis, and sonography, MRI can aid in the noninvasive differentiation of benign and malignant lesions and obviate unnecessary breast biopsies. When the suspicion of cancer is confirmed with MRI, concurrent staging of disease for treatment planning can be accomplished. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the role of breast MRI in the assessment of ACR BI-RADS 4 lesions. In addition, we will discuss strategies to decrease false positives and avoid false negative results when reporting MRI of the breast.

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