Ultrasound and DBT Find More Cancers Than Mammography

September 30, 2015

Ultrasound and digital breast tomosynthesis find more cancers than just 2D mammography.

Ultrasound and digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) detect more cancers than 2D mammography alone, according to a study published in The Breast.

Researchers from Korea sought to determine the percentage of breast cancers detected by screening ultrasound that were detectable by full-field digital mammography (FFDM) and DBT.

A total of 84 women with negative  mammograms, but who had breast cancer subsequently detected by ultrasound were initially included in the study. All underwent both FFDM and DBT. Forty-one women were left in the study after the researchers excluded women with overt suspicious findings on repeat mammography and ineligible cases. Three radiologists, blinded to tumor location, read the images.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"41850","attributes":{"alt":"breast imaging","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_1507659893221","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"4482","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 150px; width: 150px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"©karelnoppe/Shutterstock.com","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

In the unblinded review, there were 25 visible cancers (61%) on FFDM and 34 (82.9%) on DBT. However, with the blinded reviews, the radiologists detected 22 (53.7%) on DBT and 11 (26.8%) on FFDM. “The dominant lesion type was “focal asymmetry” on DBT (39.0%) and “asymmetry” on FFDM (31.7%),” the authors wrote.

The authors concluded that both ultrasound and DBT detected more than half of cancers not found on 2D mammography, with an additional 29% of cancers visualized on DBT, when the radiologists were aware of the area of concern.