Variability in Individual Radiologist BI- RADS 3 Usage at a Large Academic Center: What's the Cause and What Should We Do About It?

Emily Ambinder, Lisa Mullen, Eniola Falomo, Kelly Myers, Jessica Hung, Bora Lee, Susan Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Rationale and Objectives: Although the breast imaging reporting and data system (BI-RADS) lists specific criteria for designating a lesion as BI-RADS category 3 (probably benign), there are no target benchmarks for BI-RADS 3 usage rates. This study investigates the variability of BI-RADS 3 rates among a group of academic breast imagers, with the goal of defining more precise utilization. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all diagnostic mammograms performed between July 1, 2013 and August 8, 2017 at our academic institution. The percentage of diagnostic mammograms given a BI-RADS 3 assessment was compared between radiologists using the Chi-square test. We then evaluated for correlation between BI-RADS 3 rate and individual clinical metrics (eg, radiologist experience, cancer detection rate [CDR] and recall rate) using univariate linear regression. Results: The study included 13 breast imagers and 24,051 diagnostic breast examinations. There was significant variability in BI-RADS 3 rates between radiologists, ranging from 8.0% to 19.3% (p < 0.001). Increased BI-RADS 3 rates negatively correlated with BI-RADS 1 or 2 rate (p < 0.001) and positively correlated with recall rate (p = 0.03). There was no association between BI-RADS 3 rate and the radiologist's level of experience, BI-RADS 4 or 5 rate, or CDR. Conclusion: We found significant variability in BI-RADS 3 usage, which seems to be used in place of BI-RADS 1 or 2 findings rather than to avoid biopsy recommendation. BI-RADS 3 rates also directly correlated with recall rate, suggesting a greater degree of uncertainty among specific radiologists. Importantly, increased usage of BI-RADS 3 did not correlate with provider experience or improved CDR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAcademic Radiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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Information Systems
Breast
Radiologists
Benchmarking
Neoplasms
Chi-Square Distribution
Uncertainty
Linear Models

Keywords

  • BI-RADS 3
  • breast cancer
  • Breast imaging
  • short interval follow up

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this

@article{e0a2f08b58ad40278432d26ac7434939,
title = "Variability in Individual Radiologist BI- RADS 3 Usage at a Large Academic Center: What's the Cause and What Should We Do About It?",
abstract = "Rationale and Objectives: Although the breast imaging reporting and data system (BI-RADS) lists specific criteria for designating a lesion as BI-RADS category 3 (probably benign), there are no target benchmarks for BI-RADS 3 usage rates. This study investigates the variability of BI-RADS 3 rates among a group of academic breast imagers, with the goal of defining more precise utilization. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all diagnostic mammograms performed between July 1, 2013 and August 8, 2017 at our academic institution. The percentage of diagnostic mammograms given a BI-RADS 3 assessment was compared between radiologists using the Chi-square test. We then evaluated for correlation between BI-RADS 3 rate and individual clinical metrics (eg, radiologist experience, cancer detection rate [CDR] and recall rate) using univariate linear regression. Results: The study included 13 breast imagers and 24,051 diagnostic breast examinations. There was significant variability in BI-RADS 3 rates between radiologists, ranging from 8.0{\%} to 19.3{\%} (p < 0.001). Increased BI-RADS 3 rates negatively correlated with BI-RADS 1 or 2 rate (p < 0.001) and positively correlated with recall rate (p = 0.03). There was no association between BI-RADS 3 rate and the radiologist's level of experience, BI-RADS 4 or 5 rate, or CDR. Conclusion: We found significant variability in BI-RADS 3 usage, which seems to be used in place of BI-RADS 1 or 2 findings rather than to avoid biopsy recommendation. BI-RADS 3 rates also directly correlated with recall rate, suggesting a greater degree of uncertainty among specific radiologists. Importantly, increased usage of BI-RADS 3 did not correlate with provider experience or improved CDR.",
keywords = "BI-RADS 3, breast cancer, Breast imaging, short interval follow up",
author = "Emily Ambinder and Lisa Mullen and Eniola Falomo and Kelly Myers and Jessica Hung and Bora Lee and Susan Harvey",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.acra.2018.09.002",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Academic Radiology",
issn = "1076-6332",
publisher = "Elsevier USA",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Variability in Individual Radiologist BI- RADS 3 Usage at a Large Academic Center

T2 - What's the Cause and What Should We Do About It?

AU - Ambinder, Emily

AU - Mullen, Lisa

AU - Falomo, Eniola

AU - Myers, Kelly

AU - Hung, Jessica

AU - Lee, Bora

AU - Harvey, Susan

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - Rationale and Objectives: Although the breast imaging reporting and data system (BI-RADS) lists specific criteria for designating a lesion as BI-RADS category 3 (probably benign), there are no target benchmarks for BI-RADS 3 usage rates. This study investigates the variability of BI-RADS 3 rates among a group of academic breast imagers, with the goal of defining more precise utilization. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all diagnostic mammograms performed between July 1, 2013 and August 8, 2017 at our academic institution. The percentage of diagnostic mammograms given a BI-RADS 3 assessment was compared between radiologists using the Chi-square test. We then evaluated for correlation between BI-RADS 3 rate and individual clinical metrics (eg, radiologist experience, cancer detection rate [CDR] and recall rate) using univariate linear regression. Results: The study included 13 breast imagers and 24,051 diagnostic breast examinations. There was significant variability in BI-RADS 3 rates between radiologists, ranging from 8.0% to 19.3% (p < 0.001). Increased BI-RADS 3 rates negatively correlated with BI-RADS 1 or 2 rate (p < 0.001) and positively correlated with recall rate (p = 0.03). There was no association between BI-RADS 3 rate and the radiologist's level of experience, BI-RADS 4 or 5 rate, or CDR. Conclusion: We found significant variability in BI-RADS 3 usage, which seems to be used in place of BI-RADS 1 or 2 findings rather than to avoid biopsy recommendation. BI-RADS 3 rates also directly correlated with recall rate, suggesting a greater degree of uncertainty among specific radiologists. Importantly, increased usage of BI-RADS 3 did not correlate with provider experience or improved CDR.

AB - Rationale and Objectives: Although the breast imaging reporting and data system (BI-RADS) lists specific criteria for designating a lesion as BI-RADS category 3 (probably benign), there are no target benchmarks for BI-RADS 3 usage rates. This study investigates the variability of BI-RADS 3 rates among a group of academic breast imagers, with the goal of defining more precise utilization. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all diagnostic mammograms performed between July 1, 2013 and August 8, 2017 at our academic institution. The percentage of diagnostic mammograms given a BI-RADS 3 assessment was compared between radiologists using the Chi-square test. We then evaluated for correlation between BI-RADS 3 rate and individual clinical metrics (eg, radiologist experience, cancer detection rate [CDR] and recall rate) using univariate linear regression. Results: The study included 13 breast imagers and 24,051 diagnostic breast examinations. There was significant variability in BI-RADS 3 rates between radiologists, ranging from 8.0% to 19.3% (p < 0.001). Increased BI-RADS 3 rates negatively correlated with BI-RADS 1 or 2 rate (p < 0.001) and positively correlated with recall rate (p = 0.03). There was no association between BI-RADS 3 rate and the radiologist's level of experience, BI-RADS 4 or 5 rate, or CDR. Conclusion: We found significant variability in BI-RADS 3 usage, which seems to be used in place of BI-RADS 1 or 2 findings rather than to avoid biopsy recommendation. BI-RADS 3 rates also directly correlated with recall rate, suggesting a greater degree of uncertainty among specific radiologists. Importantly, increased usage of BI-RADS 3 did not correlate with provider experience or improved CDR.

KW - BI-RADS 3

KW - breast cancer

KW - Breast imaging

KW - short interval follow up

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