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Breast cancer detection: radiologists' performance using mammography with and without automated whole-breast ultrasound.



Radiologist reader performance for breast cancer detection using mammography plus automated whole-breast ultrasound (AWBU) was compared with mammography alone.


Screenings for non-palpable breast malignancies in women with radiographically dense breasts with contemporaneous mammograms and AWBU were reviewed by 12 radiologists blinded to the diagnoses; half the studies were abnormal. Readers first reviewed the 102 mammograms. The American College of Radiology (ACR) Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BIRADS) and Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST) likelihood ratings were recorded with location information for identified abnormalities. Readers then reviewed the mammograms and AWBU with knowledge of previous mammogram-only evaluation. We compared reader performance across screening techniques using absolute callback, areas under the curve (AUC), and figure of merit (FOM).


True positivity of cancer detection increased 63%, with only a 4% decrease in true negativity. Reader-averaged AUC was higher for mammography plus AWBU compared with mammography alone by BIRADS (0.808 versus 0.701) and likelihood scores (0.810 versus 0.703). Similarly, FOM was higher for mammography plus AWBU compared with mammography alone by BIRADS (0.786 versus 0.613) and likelihood scores (0.791 versus 0.614).


Adding AWBU to mammography improved callback rates, accuracy of breast cancer detection, and confidence in callbacks for dense-breasted women.

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