Microcalcifications Detected Equally with Synthetic Mammography Plus DBT or FFDM

October 26, 2018

The two screening methods have similar sensitivity and specificity in finding microcalcifications.

Synthetic mammography (SM) plus digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) find microcalcifications at a similar rate as full-field digital mammography (FFDM) alone, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.

Researchers from Taiwan and the United States performed a retrospective study to compare the performance of SM plus DBT with FFDM in the detection of microcalcifications on screening mammograms.

Related article: Breast Density Estimations in Standard-dose, Synthetic Mammograms

The researchers reviewed 72 consecutive screening mammograms recalled for microcalcifications and 20 controls, evaluated with both FFDM and DBT:

  • 54 mammograms with benign microcalcifications
  • 18 mammograms with malignant microcalcifications
  • 20 screening mammograms without microcalcifications

FFDM alone was compared to synthetic mammography plus DBT. Four readers independently reviewed each data set and microcalcification recalls were tabulated.

The results showed that the reader agreement was kappa value of 0.66 for FFDM and 0.63 for SM plus DBT. Mixed-effects model concluded no differences between modalities.

ÂFFDMSM plus DBT
Combined reader sensitivity for all microcalcifications80% (229 of 288)75% (215 of 288)
Combined reader sensitivity for malignant microcalcifications92% (66 of 72)94% (68 of 72)
Combined reader specificity for all microcalcifications98% (78 of 80)95% (76 of 80)
Combined reader specificity for malignant microcalcifications98% (78 of 80)95% (76 of 80)

 

The researchers concluded that relative to FFDM, SM plus DMT had similar sensitivity and specificity for the detection of microcalcifications previously identified for recall at screening mammography.