DOI: 10.1093/jbi/wbad112 ISSN: 2631-6110

Breast Radiologists’ Perceptions on the Detection and Management of Invasive Lobular Carcinoma: Most Agree Imaging Beyond Mammography Is Warranted

Kristen Coffey, Wendie A Berg, Katerina Dodelzon, Maxine S Jochelson, Lisa A Mullen, Jay R Parikh, Laurie Hutcheson, Lars J Grimm
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology



To determine breast radiologists’ confidence in detecting invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) on mammography and the perceived need for additional imaging in screening and preoperative settings.


A 16-item anonymized survey was developed, and IRB exemption obtained, by the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) Patient Care and Delivery Committee and the Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance. The survey was emailed to 2946 radiologist SBI members on February 15, 2023. The survey recorded demographics, perceived modality-specific sensitivity for ILC to the nearest decile, and opinions on diagnosing ILC in screening and staging imaging. Five-point Likert scales were used (1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree).


Response rate was 12.4% (366/2946). Perceived median (interquartile range) modality-specific sensitivities for ILC were MRI 90% (80–90), contrast-enhanced mammography 80% (70–90), molecular breast imaging 80% (60–90), digital breast tomosynthesis 70% (60–80), US 60% (50–80), and 2D mammography 50% (30–60). Only 25% (85/340) respondents were confident in detecting ILC on screening mammography in dense breasts, while 67% (229/343) were confident if breasts were nondense. Most agreed that supplemental screening is needed to detect ILC in women with dense breasts (272/344, 79%) or a personal history of ILC (248/341, 73%), with 34% (118/334) indicating that supplemental screening would also benefit women with nondense breasts. Most agreed that additional imaging is needed to evaluate extent of disease in women with newly diagnosed ILC, regardless of breast density (dense 320/329, 97%; nondense 263/329, 80%).


Most breast radiologists felt that additional imaging beyond mammography is needed to more confidently screen for and stage ILC.

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