Breast Imaging - Original Article

Short-term imaging follow-up of patients with concordant benign breast core needle biopsies: is it really worth it?


  • Michelle C. Adams
  • Shannon Falcon
  • Blaise P. Mooney
  • Christine Laronga
  • Alec Chau
  • Jennifer S. Drukteinis

Received Date: 27.02.2014 Accepted Date: 08.05.2014 Diagn Interv Radiol 2014;20(6):464-469


Women with histologically proven concordant benign breast disease are often followed closely after biopsy for a period of two years, and they are considered to be at high-risk for cancer development. Our goal was to evaluate the utility of short-term (six-month) imaging follow-up and determine the incidence of breast cancer development in this population.


Retrospective review of concordant benign breast pathology was performed in 558 patients who underwent multimodality breast core biopsy. A total of 339 patients (60.7%) with 393 biopsies qualified for the study. The six-, 12-, and 24-month incidence rates of breast cancer development were estimated with 95% confidence intervals (CI), using the exact method binomial proportions.


No cancer was detected in 285 of 339 patients (84.1%) returning for the six-month follow-up. No cancer was detected in 271 of 339 patients (79.9%) returning for the 12-month follow-up. Among 207 follow-up exams (61.1%) performed at 24 months, three patients were detected to have cancer in the ipsilateral breast (1.45% [95% CI, 0.30%–4.18%]) and two patients were detected to have cancer in the contralateral breast (0.97% [95% CI, 0.12%–3.45%]). Subsequent patient biopsy rate was 30 of 339 (8.85%, [95% CI, 6.05%–12.39%]). Three ipsilateral biopsies occurred as a sole result of the six-month follow-up of 285 patients (1.05%, [95% CI, 0.22%–3.05%]).


Short-term imaging follow-up did not contribute to improved breast cancer detection, as all subsequent cancers were detected on annual mammography. Annual diagnostic mammography after benign breast biopsy may be sufficient.