Negative predictive value of sonography and mammography in patients with focal breast pain.Breast J. 2005 Sep-Oct; 11(5):333-7.BJ
The purpose of this study was to determine the negative predictive value of mammography and sonography in a population of patients with focal breast pain referred for imaging evaluation. Eighty-six consecutive patients with focal breast pain in the absence of a breast mass were retrospectively identified from an imaging database. The electronic inpatient and outpatient records for the 86 patients were reviewed. For patients who were diagnosed with breast cancer, pathology reports were reviewed to determine whether the painful area corresponded to the patient's cancer. In addition, patient records were linked to the institution's cancer registry. Of the 86 patients, 26 patients were lost to follow-up and did not appear in the institution's cancer registry. Four patients were diagnosed with breast carcinoma, two of whom had incidental cancers that were detected mammographically by microcalcifications and were separate from and unrelated to the area of pain. Seven patients underwent biopsy at the site of breast pain with benign diagnosis. Imaging and clinical follow-up for the 51 patients with benign or negative imaging at the site of pain showed no abnormality with a mean follow-up of 26.5 months. The negative predictive value of mammography and sonography in patients with breast pain was 100%. The negative predictive value of mammography and sonography for focal breast pain is high. Negative mammography and sonography can be reassuring to the treating clinician if follow-up is planned when physical examination is not suspicious. However, if physical examination is suspicious, biopsy should not be delayed.