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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Quantification of the UK five-point breast imaging classification and mapping to BI-RADS: to facilitate comparison of reporting, research and published literature

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Breast Cancer Research201113 (Suppl 1) :P34

  • Published:


  • Cancer Risk
  • Lipoma
  • Imaging Classification
  • Breast Imaging
  • International Scale


The Royal College of Radiologists Breast Group has formalised the UK five-point breast imaging scoring system to encourage uniformity of reporting. The Breast Imaging and Reporting Data System (BI-RADS) is widely used throughout North America and Europe, and, unlike the UK scoring system, each BI-RADS category has an associated cancer likelihood. This study aims to quantify the cancer likelihood of each of the UK categories and map them to comparable BI-RADS categories to facilitate comparison of reporting, research and literature.


Between January 2001 and December 2008, mammograms and ultrasounds performed in a symptomatic setting were prospectively UK scored and the percentage of cancer outcomes within each group calculated. These were then compared with the percentage incidence of the BI-RADS categories.


Of 23,741 separate assessment episodes, 15,288 mammograms and 10,642 ultrasound examinations were evaluated. There was direct correlation between UK scoring and BI-RADS for categories 1 and 5. UK score 2 lipomas and simple cysts correlated with BI-RADS 2, with the remaining UK score 2 lesions (mostly fibroadenomas) assigned to BI-RADS 3. BI-RADS 4 incorporates a wide range of cancer risk (2 to 95%) with subdivisions a, b and c indicating increasing, but unspecified, likelihood of malignancy. UK score 3 correlated with BI-RADS 4 a/b and UK score 4 corresponded with BI-RADS 4c.


The cancer likelihood of the UK scoring has been quantified and mapped to the appropriate BI-RADS categories with equivalent cancer risks. This facilitates the sharing of UK research data and clinical practice on an international scale.

Authors’ Affiliations

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK


© Taylor et al. 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.