BACKGROUND: In the Copenhagen mammography screening program from 1991 to 2001, mammographic density was classified either as fatty or mixed/dense. This dichotomous mammographic density classification system is unique internationally, and has not been validated before.
PURPOSE: To compare the Danish dichotomous mammographic density classification system from 1991 to 2001 with the density BI-RADS classifications, in an attempt to validate the Danish classification system.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study sample consisted of 120 mammograms taken in Copenhagen in 1991-2001, which tested false positive, and which were in 2012 re-assessed and classified according to the BI-RADS classification system. We calculated inter-rater agreement between the Danish dichotomous mammographic classification as fatty or mixed/dense and the four-level BI-RADS classification by the linear weighted Kappa statistic.
RESULTS: Of the 120 women, 32 (26.7%) were classified as having fatty and 88 (73.3%) as mixed/dense mammographic density, according to Danish dichotomous classification. According to BI-RADS density classification, 12 (10.0%) women were classified as having predominantly fatty (BI-RADS code 1), 46 (38.3%) as having scattered fibroglandular (BI-RADS code 2), 57 (47.5%) as having heterogeneously dense (BI-RADS 3), and five (4.2%) as having extremely dense (BI-RADS code 4) mammographic density. The inter-rater variability assessed by weighted kappa statistic showed a substantial agreement (0.75).
CONCLUSION: The dichotomous mammographic density classification system utilized in early years of Copenhagen's mammographic screening program (1991-2001) agreed well with the BI-RADS density classification system.