Original Investigation|Articles in Press

Linear Regression Modeling Based Scoring System to Reduce Benign Breast Biopsies Using Multi-parametric US with Color Doppler and SWE

Published:February 16, 2023DOI:

      Rationale and Objectives

      To develop a simple ultrasound (US) based scoring system to reduce benign breast biopsies.

      Materials and Methods

      Women with BI-RADS 4 or 5 breast lesions underwent shear-wave elastography (SWE) imaging before biopsy. Standard US and color Doppler US (CDUS) parameters were recorded, and the size ratio (SzR=longest/shortest diameter) was calculated. Measured/calculated SWE parameters were minimum (SWVMin) and maximum (SWVMax) shear velocity, velocity heterogeneity (SWVH=SWVMax-SWVMin), velocity ratio (SWVR=SWVMin/SWVMax), and normalized SWVR (SWVRn=(SWVMax-SWVMin)/SWVMin). Linear regression analysis was performed by converting continuous parameters into categorical corresponding equivalents using decision tree analyses. Linear regression models were fitted using stepwise regression analysis and optimal coefficients for the predictors in the models were determined. A scoring model was devised from the results and validated using a different data set from another center consisting of 187 cases with BI-RADS 3, 4, and 5 lesions.


      A total of 418 lesions (238 benign, 180 malignant) were analyzed. US and CDUS parameters exhibited poor (AUC=0.592-0.696), SWE parameters exhibited poor-good (AUC=0.607-0.816) diagnostic performance in benign/malignant discrimination. Linear regression models of US+CDUS and US+SWE parameters revealed an AUC of 0.819 and 0.882, respectively. The developed scoring system could have avoided biopsy in 37.8% of benign lesions while missing 1.1% of malignant lesions. The scoring system was validated with a 100% NPV rate with a specificity of 74.6%.


      The linear regression model using US+SWE parameters performed better than any single parameter alone. The developed scoring method could lead to a significant decrease in benign biopsies.

      Key Words


      SzR (lesion size ratio), SWVMin (minimum shear velocity), SWVMax (maximum shear velocity), SWVH (shear velocity heterogeneity), SWVR (velocity ratio), SWVRn (normalized velocity ratio), SSUS (US based scoring system), SSUS SWE (US and SWE based scoring system)
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