3 years ago

Clinical implementation of synthesized mammography with digital breast tomosynthesis in a routine clinical practice

Phoebe E. Freer, Dominik Ose, Rachel Hess, Gregory J. Stoddard, Matthew A. Stein, Nicole Winkler, Laura Eisenmenger, Joanna Riegert



Most published studies evaluating digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) included a separate 2-dimensional full-field digital mammogram (FFDM) for DBT screening protocols, increasing radiation from screening mammography. Synthesized mammography (SM) creates a 2-dimensional image from the DBT source data, and if used in place of FFDM, it reduces radiation of DBT screening. This study evaluated the implementation of SM + DBT in routine screening practice in terms of recall rates, cancer detection rates (CDR), % of minimal cancers, % of node-positive cancers, and positive predictive values (PPV).

Materials and methods

A multivariate retrospective institutional analysis was performed on 31,979 women who obtained screening mammography (10/2013–12/2015) with cohorts divided by modality (SM + DBT, FFDM + DBT, and FFDM). We adjusted for comparison mammograms, age, breast density, and the interpreting radiologist. Recall type was analyzed for differences (focal asymmetry, asymmetry, masses, calcifications, architectural distortion).


SM + DBT significantly decreased the recall rate compared to FFDM (5.52 vs. 7.83%, p < 0.001) with no differences in overall CDR (p = 0.66), invasive and/or in situ CDR, or percentages of minimal and node-negative cancers. PPV1 significantly increased with SM + DBT relative to FFDM (9.1 vs. 6.2%, p = 0.02). SM + DBT did not differ significantly in recall rate or overall CDR compared to FFDM + DBT. There were statistically significant differences in certain findings recalled by screening modality (e.g., focal asymmetries).


SM + DBT reduces false positives compared to FFDM, while maintaining the CDR and other desirable audit outcome data. SM + DBT is more accurate than FFDM alone, and is a desirable alternative to FFDM + DBT, given the added benefit of radiation reduction.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10549-017-4431-1

DOI: 10.1007/s10549-017-4431-1

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