Research Papers:

BI-RADS 3-5 microcalcifications: prediction of lymph node metastasis of breast cancer

Dongzhi Cen, Li Xu _, Siwei Zhang, Shuqin Zhou, Yan Huang, Zhiguang Chen, Ningna Li, Yuan Wang and Qun Wang

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:30190-30198. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16318

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Dongzhi Cen1,*, Li Xu2,*, Siwei Zhang2,*, Shuqin Zhou2,*, Yan Huang2,*, Zhiguang Chen2,*, Ningna Li2,*, Yuan Wang3, Qun Wang3

1Department of Radiation Oncology and Department of Nuclear Medicine, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, 510150, Guangdong, P.R. China

2Department of Radiology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province 510120, P.R. China

3Jishou University, Jishou Hunan 427200, P.R. China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Li Xu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: lymph node metastasis, mammography, calcification, infiltrating ductal carcinoma, logistic regression

Received: June 29, 2016     Accepted: March 08, 2017     Published: March 17, 2017


Purpose: To determine whether the clinicopathological parameters and Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) 3–5 microcalcifications differed between lymph node positive (LN (+)) and lymph node negative (LN (–)) invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC).

Results: For microcalcification-associated breast cancers, seven selected features (age, tumor size, Ki-67 status, lymphovascular invasion, calcification range, calcification diameter and calcification density) were significantly associated with LN status (all P < 0.05). Multivariate logistic regression analysis found that three risk factors (age: older vs. younger OR: 0.973 P = 0.006, tumor size: larger vs. smaller OR: 1.671, P < 0.001 and calcification density: calcifications > 20/cm2 vs. calcifications ≤ 20/cm2 OR: 1.698, P < 0.001) were significant independent predictors. This model had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.701. The nodal staging (N0 and N1 χ2 = 5.701, P = 0.017; N0 and N2 χ2 = 6.614, P = 0.013) was significantly positively associated with calcification density. The luminal B subtype had the highest risk of LN metastasis. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that calcification > 2 cm in range (OR: 2.209) and larger tumor size (OR: 1.882) were independently predictive of LN metastasis in the luminal B subtype (AUC = 0.667).

Materials and Methods: Mammographic images of 419 female breast cancer patients were included. Associations between the risk factors and LN status were evaluated using a Chi-square test, ANOVA and binary logistic regression analysis.

Conclusions: This study found that age, tumor size and calcifications density can be conveniently used to facilitate the preoperative prediction of LN metastasis. The luminal B subtype has the highest risk of LN metastasis among the microcalcification-associated breast cancers.

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