Skip to main content

Cross-Atlantic differences in reading the same breast screening cases

Introduction

American breast screening radiologists typically read a lower annual volume and recall more cases than their UK counterparts. This study investigated what happens when experienced breast screening radiologists from both countries examined the same FFDM case set, albeit using different resolution displays.

Methods

Sixteen experienced American breast screening radiologists interpreted 40 difficult FFDM cases containing various mammographic features, excluding small calcifications, using dual 202 DICOM calibrated monitors. For comparison purposes, the anonymous data were used of 16 experienced UK breast radiologists who had read the same cases as part of the PERFORMS scheme using clinical mammographic workstations.

Results

The 16 American radiologists were split into two groups of low volume (<5,000 cases p.a.) and high volume (≥5,000 cases p.a.) and performances were compared. There was no significant differences (t = 0.23, P > 0.05). Consequently their performance data were combined and compared with those of the 16 UK radiologists. There was no significant difference between the two groups in correct recall decisions (UK, 97.1%; USA, 92.9%; t = 0.042, P > 0.05) although there were significant differences in correct return to screening decisions (UK, 88.9%; USA, 80%; t = 0.089, P < 0.05) and the number of malignancies detected (UK, 98.7%; USA, 93%; t = 0.049, P < 0.05).

Conclusion

The use of lower resolution monitors (approximately half that of a mammographic workstation) by the American group was offset by their experience (>15 years) such that even very experienced but low-volume readers performed well. Whilst the UK group overall performed better on these cases, the American group still recalled more, reflecting their real-life screening criteria.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Y Chen.

Rights and permissions

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Chen, Y., Gale, A., Evanoff, M. et al. Cross-Atlantic differences in reading the same breast screening cases. Breast Cancer Res 13, P27 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1186/bcr2979

Download citation

Keywords

  • American Group
  • Breast Screening
  • Correct Recall
  • Breast Radiologist
  • Screening Decision