Mastalgia: Imaging Work-up Appropriateness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Rationale and Objectives Radiologists frequently image women with the sole complaint of mastalgia (breast pain). We hypothesized that whereas the vast majority of women ultimately have no imaging explanation for their breast pain, a small percentage of patients may have a correlative imaging finding and confirm the current American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria recommendations. Materials and Methods In this Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant, institutional review board-approved retrospective review, we evaluated 236 women between the ages of 18 and 83 years who presented to our Breast Care Center in 2013 with the sole complaint of breast pain or tenderness. Patients' clinical presentation, diagnostic imaging work-up, and clinical and radiographic follow-up were documented. Outcomes of the diagnostic work-up were compared with the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria recommendations. Results Of the 236 patients, 10 women had cyclical breast pain, 116 had noncyclical, nonfocal breast pain, and 110 had noncyclical, focal breast pain. No imaging correlates were discovered to explain the etiology of cyclical pain, supporting the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria rating values. A definitive imaging correlate for breast pain was identified in seven women (3%) with noncyclical, focal pain, one of which was a cancer diagnosis (0.4%), which correlates with the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria ratings. No imaging correlates were found in women with noncyclical, nonfocal pain, supporting the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria ratings. Conclusion There was no radiological imaging finding to explain the etiology of mastalgia in most women. Diagnostic imaging may be an appropriate diagnostic evaluation in patients with noncyclical, focal breast pain, supporting the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-349
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Radiology
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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