Can radiographers reliably read screening mammograms?
© Current Science Ltd 2000
Published: 1 October 2000
This study aims to evaluate the ability of training radiographers to read screening mammograms. One thousand sets of screening films previously single-reported by a consultant radiologist were reviewed and re-reported independently by two trained radiographers. Films included prevalent and incident screens. The radiographers viewed the same films for each case in the same conditions used for the original screen reading. Each was blind to the other's opinion and to that of the radiologist. In cases of disagreement between the radiographers, a consensus opinion was recorded as well as their individual opinions.
The radiographers recalled 3.9% more to assessment. However, they recalled all the women with a subsequent diagnosis of cancer and also 32/91 (35%) of the women who subsequently developed an interval cancer. None of the cases which became interval cancers had been recalled to assessment by the radiologists. Overall the radiographers' sensitivity is 61.1% and specificity 89.7% compared to the radiologists' 39.6% and 90.5% for this set of films. Our study indicates that, with training, radiographers can become proficient at mammographic interpretation.