Publication Abstract

Authors: Burnside ES, Sickles EA, Sohlich RE, Dee KE

Title: Differential value of comparison with previous examinations in diagnostic versus screening mammography.

Journal: AJR Am J Roentgenol 179(5):1173-7

Date: 2002 Nov

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The purpose of our study was to analyze the differences in clinical outcomes of diagnostic and screening mammography depending on whether comparison is made with previous examinations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed 48,281 consecutive mammography examinations for which previous mammography (9825 diagnostic, 38,456 screening) had been performed between 1997 and 2001, collecting data on demographics, whether comparison actually was made with previous examinations, abnormal findings (recall for screening mammography or biopsy recommendation for diagnostic mammography), biopsy yield of cancer, cancer detection rate, size of invasive cancers, axillary nodal status, and cancer stage. RESULTS: Comparison with previous examinations in the incidence screening setting decreases the recall rate from 4.9% to 3.8% (p < 0.0001) but does not significantly affect the biopsy yield (40-44%, p = 0.56) or the cancer detection rate (5.5-5.2/1000, p = 0.87). In the diagnostic setting, comparison with previous examinations increases the biopsy-recommended rate from 4.3% to 9.4% (p < 0.0001), the biopsy yield from 38% to 51% (p = 0.12), and the overall cancer detection rate from 11/1000 to 39/1000 (p < 0.0001). Comparison with previous examinations is not associated with a significant difference in mean tumor size. However, it is associated with a significant decrease in the frequency of axillary node metastasis and the cancer stage for screening mammography, but not for diagnostic mammography. CONCLUSION: For screening mammography, comparison with previous examinations significantly decreases false-positive but not true-positive findings and permits detection of cancers at an earlier stage. For diagnostic mammography, comparison with previous examinations increases true-positive findings.