B-mode ultrasound diagnostic flowchart for solid breast masses: JABTS BC-01 study

Takanori Watanabe, Takuhiro Yamaguchi, Eriko Tohno, Hiroko Tsunoda, Setsuko Kaoku, Kanako Ban, Ryoji Watanabe, Takeshi Umemoto, Koichi Hirokaga, Toshikazu Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Breast ultrasound has been widely used as an essential examination for diagnosing breast cancer. However, standardized diagnostic criteria are as yet lacking. This study aimed to develop a simple diagnostic flowchart for beginners learning breast ultrasonography. The diagnostic flowchart was developed based on the recall criteria widely used in Japan. Methods: We conducted a multicenter study to examine recall criteria usefulness in the diagnostic phase of breast disease. Women with ultrasound-visible breast masses who underwent B-mode breast ultrasound examination were recruited from 22 hospitals in Japan between September 2009 and January 2010. B-mode images were evaluated by members of the centralized image interpretation committee. We developed the new diagnostic flowchart based on the results. The usefulness of the diagnostic flowchart was assessed by employing datasets from the current study and another study which we conducted (BC-04 study). Results: We evaluated 1045 solid masses (malignant: 495, benign: 550). Multivariate analysis showed that shape, margin, echogenic halo, interruption of the mammary gland interface, and depth width ratio were significant findings for distinguishing between benign and malignant masses. We modified the recall criteria and developed our novel diagnostic flowchart using these findings. The sensitivity and specificity of the new flowchart (current study: 0.97, 0.45; BC-04 study dataset: 0.95, 0.45) were similar to those of experts (current study: 0.96, 0.54; BC-04 study dataset: 0.98, 0.38). Conclusion: We developed a simple diagnostic flowchart for breast ultrasound. This flowchart is anticipated to be applicable to educating beginners learning breast ultrasound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medical Ultrasonics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Diagnostic criteria
  • Multicenter study
  • Multivariate analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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