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Classification of findings in mammography screening

BI-RADS categories as well as Tabar classification are used to describe mammogram findings and results. Here is just a brief overview of results of both classification methods:

BI-RADS Classification of density

The BI-RADS system too is a quantitative method proposed by the American College of Radiology (2000). BI-RADS classification is a modification of Wolfe’s classification, and is defined using percentages of density divided into quartiles:

  • type 1 : extremely fat
  • type 2 : minimal density
  • type 3 : heterogeneous density
  • type 4 : extremely dense

Tabar Classification

Tabár (1997) classifies the mammograms in five patterns (I to V) based on an histologic-mammographic correlation with a three-dimensional, subgross (thick-slice) technique, and on the relative proportion of four “building blocks” (nodular denisties, linear densities, homogeneous fibrous tissue, radiolucent fat tissue):

  • I : balanced proportion of all components of breast tissue with a slight predominance of fibrous tissue
  • II : predominance of fat tissue (fat breast)
  • III : predominance of fat tissue with retroareolar residual fibrous tissue
  • IV : predominantly nodular densities
  • V : predominantly fibrous tissue (dense breast)

Note: Breast implants represent a special category in Tabar classification.


Source: Parenchymal patterns in breast imaging,


Last updated on 8 January 2015