Background/Purpose: Breast masses in the pediatric population cause patient and family concern, partially driven by public awareness of adult breast cancer. However, the spectrum of breast masses in children differs greatly from that in adults, and malignancy is exceedingly rare. The American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) ultrasound-based classification system is the diagnostic standard, yet no study has validated BI-RADS in pediatric patients. This study compares BI-RADS classification with histologic diagnoses to evaluate BI-RADS validity in pediatric patients. Methods: Multicenter retrospective evaluation of breast masses in patients under 21 years. Ultrasound reports were compared with histologic diagnoses. Results: There were 283 patients with breast pathology results after excluding clinical diagnoses of gynecomastia. Mean age was 16.9 (SD 2.3), ranging 10–20 years. 227 had pre-operative ultrasounds, and 84% (191/227) were assigned a BI-RADS category. BI-RADS 4 was the most frequent category (55%, n = 124), by definition predicting 2 – 95% likelihood of malignancy. However, pathology was benign in all patients. Conclusions: The current BI-RADS categorization system overestimates cancer risk when applied to pediatric patients. BI-RADS scores should not be assigned to pediatric patients, and BIRADS-defined recommendations for biopsy should be disregarded. A pediatric-specific classification system could be useful.
- Breast cancer
- Breast mass
- Pediatric oncology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health