What is the BI-RADS Atlas for breast ultrasonography?

Updated: Feb 01, 2017
  • Author: Paul R Fisher, MD; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Mendelsohn et al published the results of their initial work in creating a standardized breast US lexicon, [41] and the American College of Radiology (ACR) published the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) Atlas. [42] This latter document is an extended version of the Third Edition of the BI-RADS lexicon used in mammography. The BI-RADS Atlas includes new sections on breast US (ACR BI-RADS–US) and MRI (ACR BI-RADS–MRI). ACR BI-RADS–US may help standardize the terms used for characterizing and reporting lesions, thereby facilitating patient care, the characterization of lesions, and the development of possible screening applications.

ACR BI-RADS–US provides terms that describe the following features or findings on breast US examinations: shape, orientation, margin, boundary, echo pattern, posterior acoustic features, and surrounding tissue for masses; breast calcifications (which are poorly characterized by US); special cases, such as complicated cysts and intramammary lymph nodes; vascularity; and assessment categories.

ACR BI-RADS–US describes 7 assessment categories. One category is for lesions that are incompletely characterized and for which further imaging is needed for final assessment. The 6 other assessment categories have implications on patient care. [43]

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