BI-RADS Classification for Management of Abnormal Mammograms

Margaret M. Eberl, MD, MPH; Chester H. Fox, MD; Stephen B. Edge, MD; Cathleen A. Carter, PhD; Martin C. Mahoney, MD, PhD, FAAFP


J Am Board Fam Med. 2006;19(2):161-164. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


The Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS), developed by the American College of Radiology, provides a standardized classification for mammographic studies. This system demonstrates good correlation with the likelihood of breast malignancy. The BI-RADS system can inform family physicians about key findings, identify appropriate follow-up and management and encourage the provision of educational and emotional support to patients.


The Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) was developed in 1993 by the American College of Radiology (ACR) to standardize mammographic reporting, to improve communication, to reduce confusion regarding mammographic findings, to aid research, and to facilitate outcomes monitoring.[1] According to the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) of 1997 [Final Rule 62(208):55988], all mammograms in the United States must be reported using one of these assessment categories.[1,2] Each mammographic study should be assigned a single assessment based on the most concerning findings.[1]


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