Radial scar-significant diagnostic challenge

Zsófia Egyed, Zoltán Péntek, Balázs Járay, Janina Kulka, Egon Svastics, József Kas, Zsolt László

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence of radial scar (RS) is 0.04% in asymptomatic women participating in population screening for breast cancer. It is important to differentiate RS from concomitant malignancies, which occur in 20-30% of patients, or from small stellate carcinomas which give similar radiomorphology. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effectivity of current breast diagnostic methods in distinguishing between real RS, concomitant malignancy and carcinomas imitating RS. Diagnosis of RS was set up in 61 cases by mammography. Forty-four patients underwent surgical excision: histology showed benign or malignant lesions in 28 and 16 cases, respectively. A series of negative results at follow-up proved the benign nature of the lesion in further 11 cases. Six patients were not available for follow-up. Results of mammography, physical examination, ultrasonography and cytology were evaluated and were compared in 39 benign and 16 malignant cases. Results of examinations were reported on the BI-RADS scale ranging from 1 to 5. The mean categorical scores of all diagnostic processes were around the level of borderline lesions: mammography: 3.49, ultrasonography: 3.06, cytology: 2.47 and physical examination: 1.67. The average age of the patients in the benign and malignant groups were the same: 58years. The two groups did not differ significantly over either distribution of coded mammographical results (p = 0.2092), or the distribution of mammographical parenchyma density patterns (p = 0.4875). However, the malignant and benign groups differed significantly from each other over the distribution of coded ultrasonographic (p = 0.0176) and cytological (p < 0.0001) results. In conclusion, in the preoperative diagnosis of asymptomatic "black-stars", mammography detects the non-palpable lesions, and ultrasonography together with cytology proved better in the analysis, provided FNAB is US guided. Due to the complex diagnostic approach the nature of the "black stars" is known in the majority of cases prior to the surgical biopsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalPathology and Oncology Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2008


  • "Black star-white star"
  • Breast cancer
  • Diagnostic error
  • Mammography
  • Radial scar
  • Triple test assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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  • Cite this

    Egyed, Z., Péntek, Z., Járay, B., Kulka, J., Svastics, E., Kas, J., & László, Z. (2008). Radial scar-significant diagnostic challenge. Pathology and Oncology Research, 14(2), 123-129. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12253-008-9025-0