Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Higher volume reduces false positives in screening mammography

22.02.2011
Radiologists who interpret a high volume of mammograms may not detect more cancers but are better at determining which suspicious lesions are not malignant, according to a new study published online and in the April print edition of Radiology.

"Contrary to our expectations, we observed no clear association between volume and sensitivity," said the study's lead author, Diana S.M. Buist, Ph.D., M.P.H., senior investigator at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. "We did, however, find that radiologists with higher interpretive volume had significantly lower false-positive rates and recalled fewer women per cancer detected."

An exam result is considered to be a false positive when further testing is recommended for a suspicious lesion but no cancer is found. In addition to causing anxiety for patients, false positives prompt additional testing that costs approximately $1.6 billion per year, according to Dr. Buist.

The study, partially funded by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, included a review of data from six Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium mammography registries in California, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington and New Mexico.

The researchers examined various measures of interpretive volume in relation to screening performance for 120 radiologists who interpreted 783,965 screening mammograms between 2002 and 2006. Volume was measured in four ways: the number of screening and diagnostic mammograms read by a radiologist annually—both separately and in combination—and the ratio of screening to total (diagnostic plus screening) mammograms. Screening performance was measured by sensitivity (the ability to detect all cancers present) and false-positive and cancer detection rates.

The results showed that performance varied not only by the number of exams interpreted, but also by the ratio of screening to total (diagnostic plus screening) mammograms.

"Our analysis demonstrated that screening interpretive performance is unlikely to be affected by volume alone, but rather by a balance in the interpreted exam composition," Dr. Buist said. "The data suggest that radiologists who interpret screening mammograms should spend at least a portion of their time interpreting diagnostic mammograms, because radiologists who interpreted very few diagnostic mammograms had worse performance, even if they read a high volume of screening mammograms."

Because the study found that radiologists with higher annual interpretive volumes had lower false-positive rates—while maintaining sensitivity rates similar to their lower-volume colleagues—the researchers simulated the effect of increasing the minimum interpretive volume required of radiologists practicing in the U.S., which is currently 960 mammograms every two years.

Based on 34 million women aged 40-79 receiving screening mammograms each year, the researchers estimated that increasing the annual minimum total volume requirement to 1,000 would result in 43,629 fewer women being recalled. The estimated cost associated with false-positive results would be reduced to $21.8 million.

"Recommending any increase in U.S. volume requirements would entail crucial decisions about the relative importance of cancer detection versus false positive exams and workforce issues, since changes could curtail workforce supply and women's mammography access," Dr. Buist said.

"The Influence of Annual Interpretive Volume on Screening Mammography Performance in the United States." Collaborating with Dr. Buist were Melissa L. Anderson, M.S., Sebastien J-P.A. Haneuse, Ph.D., Edward A. Sickles, M.D., Robert A. Smith, Ph.D., Patricia A. Carney, Ph.D., Stephen H. Taplin, M.D., M.P.H., Robert D. Rosenberg, M.D., Berta M. Geller, Ed.D., Tracy L. Onega, Ph.D., Barbara S. Monsees, M.D., Lawrence W. Bassett, M.D., Bonnie C. Yankaskas, Ph.D., Joann G. Elmore, M.D., M.P.H., Karla Kerlikowske, M.D., and Diana L. Miglioretti, Ph.D.

This study was supported by the American Cancer Society, the Longaberger Company's Horizon of Hope Campaign, Breast Cancer Stamp Fund, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Cancer Institute and National Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium.

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (http://radiology.rsna.org/)

RSNA is an association of more than 46,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)

For patient-friendly information on mammography, visit RadiologyInfo.org.

Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rsna.org

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht NIH scientists combine technologies to view the retina in unprecedented detail
14.11.2018 | NIH/National Eye Institute

nachricht Medica 2018: New software for a more efficient planning of minimally invasive surgery
06.11.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New findings help to better calculate the oceans’ contribution to climate regulation

15.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Automated adhesive film placement and stringer integration for aircraft manufacture

15.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>