Digital mammo tops film for DCIS diagnosis

October 6, 2009

The largest study to date comparing film-screen and full-field digital mammography found the digital approach better for visualizing microcalcifications deemed crucial to diagnosing ductal carcinoma in situ.

The largest study to date comparing film-screen and full-field digital mammography found the digital approach better for visualizing microcalcifications deemed crucial to diagnosing ductal carcinoma in situ.

Dr. Nico Karssemeijer from Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated 367,600 screening exams performed over five years, 56,518 of which were digital. Breast cancer was found in 1927 women, 317 of whom underwent digital mammography enhanced with computer-aided diagnosis.

At initial screenings, digital detected cancer at a rate of 0.77% and film at a rate of 0.62%. Subsequent readings led to rates of 0.55% and 0.49%, respectively, for digital and film. Film-based screening detection of DCIS was 0.12% in initial exams and 0.08% in subsequent exams. Digital mammography DCIS detection was 0.22% in initial exams and 0.12% in subsequent exams (Radiol 2009 July 31 e-pub ahead of print).