Introduction: There is controversy on the optimal work‐up of screen‐detected widespread breast calcifications: whether to biopsy a single target or multiple targets. This study evaluates agreement between multiple biopsy targets within the same screen‐detected widespread (≥25 mm) breast calcification to determine if the second biopsy adds value.

Methods: Retrospective observational study of women screened in a statewide general population risk breast cancer mammographic screening program from 2009 to 2016. Screening episodes recalled for widespread calcifications where further views indicated biopsy, and two or more separate target areas were sampled within the same lesion were included. Percentage agreement and Cohen's Kappa were calculated.

Results: A total of 293317 women were screened during 761124 separate episodes with recalls for widespread calcifications in 2355 episodes. In 171 women, a second target was biopsied within the same lesion. In 149 (86%) cases, the second target biopsy result agreed with the first biopsy (κ = 0.6768). Agreement increased with increasing mammography score (85%, 86% and 92% for score 3, 4 and 5 lesions). Same day multiple biopsied lesions were three times more likely to yield concordant results compared to post‐hoc second target biopsy cases.

Conclusion: While a single target biopsy is sufficient to discriminate a benign vs. malignant diagnosis in most cases, in 14% there is added value in performing a second target biopsy. Biopsies performed prospectively are more likely to yield concordant results compared to post‐hoc second target biopsy cases, suggesting a single prospective biopsy may be sufficient when results are radiological‐pathological concordant; discordance still requires repeat sampling.


biopsy, breast imaging, screening, stereotactic, widespread calcifications

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