Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 289, Issue 3, pp 663–670 | Cite as

Supplemental screening ultrasound increases cancer detection yield in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers

  • Kristin Bosse
  • Monika Graeser
  • Axel Goßmann
  • Matthias Hackenbroch
  • Rita K. Schmutzler
  • Kerstin Rhiem
Gynecologic Oncology



This study aimed at evaluating the efficacy of ultrasound for the early detection of breast cancers in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.


Between 01/1997 and 10/2008 221 BRCA1/2 mutation carriers participated in a breast cancer screening program which included semi-annual ultrasound in combination with annual mammography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Women underwent on average (median) five semi-annual screening rounds with a range of one to 22 appointments, totaling 1,855 rounds of screening. All three imaging modalities were coded according to the American College of Radiology (BI-RADS classification).


In total, we detected 27 BRCA-associated breast cancers in 25 patients. The sensitivity was 77 % for ultrasound, 27 % for mammography, and 100 % for MRI. Three tumors were detected directly as a result of only the semi-annual ultrasound screen.


Due to the specific tumor morphology and the considerably elevated tumor doubling time, mutation carriers benefit from the addition of semi-annual ultrasound screening as a sensitive and cost-effective method.


Breast cancer BRCA1/2 mutation carriers Ultrasound 



Clinical breast examination






Magnetic resonance imaging


American College of Radiology


Breast Imaging and Reporting and Data System



Our work has been supported by the German Cancer Aid.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristin Bosse
    • 1
  • Monika Graeser
    • 1
  • Axel Goßmann
    • 2
  • Matthias Hackenbroch
    • 3
  • Rita K. Schmutzler
    • 1
  • Kerstin Rhiem
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Familial Breast and Ovarian CancerUniversity Hospital of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Radiologische Klinik MerheimCologneGermany
  3. 3.Department for RadiologyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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