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Digital mammography led to lower false positives, study

by Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor | April 01, 2014
A new study gives another boost to digital mammography when compared to film screening.

According to results published online in the journal Radiology, lower recall and biopsy rates were associated with population-based screening with full-field digital mammography (FFDM) than from screen film mammography (SFM).

While there have been many studies done examining the accuracy of FFDM to SFM, this study claims to be more comprehensive than previous studies because it accounted for the transition phase of adoption from film to digital mammography.

A total of 1,837,360 exams were collected from the Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), which ran from 1996 through 2010. Researchers were able to compare performance measures and outcomes before, during and after the transition from SFM to FFDM using NBCSP data.

The overall recall rate was 3.4 percent for SFM and 2.9 percent for FFDM. The biopsy rate was 1.4 percent for SFM and 1.1 percent for FFDM, according to the study.

Study participants were an average age of 58.8 years.

"The study includes results from women screened with SFM only, with both SFM and FFDM, and with FFDM only. These combinations make us able to compare early performance measures achieved when using digital mammography in a routine setting, in a proper way," said Solveig Hofvind from the Cancer Registry of Norway and Oslo University College in Oslo, Norway, in a statement from RSNA.

In addition, the study found that after FFDM was firmly established as a screening tool, both the rate of invasive screening detected and interval breast cancer remained stable during the transition from SFM to FFDM.

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