RSNA: Breast Tomosynthesis Improves Screening Outcomes

(HealthDay News) – Use of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), an imaging method that produces three-dimensional reconstructions of the breast, for cancer screening significantly reduces callback rates and increases cancer detection rates compared with digital mammography, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Dec. 1–6 in Chicago.

Emily F. Conant, MD, from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues compared outcomes of breast cancer screening in 15,633 women imaged with DBT and 10,753 women imaged with digital mammography.

The researchers found that the average recall rate fell significantly, from 10.4% for digital mammography to 8.78% for DBT (odds ratio, 1.23). The overall cancer detection rate significantly increased, from 3.51 per 1,000 for digital mammography to 5.24 per 1,000 for DBT. There was also a significant improvement in the overall positive predictive value, from 4.1% for digital mammography to 6% for DBT. There was some variability between the six readers used.

“Our study showed that we reduced our callback rate and increased our cancer detection rate,” Conant said in a statement. “The degree to which these rates were affected varied by radiologist. But importantly, the ratio of callback to cancer detection rate improved significantly for our radiologists.”

One author is a consultant at Hologic.

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