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Sensitivity of screening mammography by density and texture: a cohort study from a population-based screening program in Denmark

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


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  • My von Euler-Chelpin
  • Martin Lillholm
  • Ilse Vejborg
  • Mads Nielsen
  • Elsebeth Lynge
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BACKGROUND: Screening mammography works better in fatty than in dense breast tissue. Computerized assessment of parenchymal texture is a non-subjective method to obtain a refined description of breast tissue, potentially valuable in addition to breast density scoring for the identification of women in need of supplementary imaging. We studied the sensitivity of screening mammography by a combination of radiologist-assessed Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) density score and computer-assessed parenchymal texture marker, mammography texture resemblance (MTR), in a population-based screening program.

METHODS: Breast density was coded according to the fourth edition of the BI-RADS density code, and MTR marker was divided into quartiles from 1 to 4. Screening data were followed up for the identification of screen-detected and interval cancers. We calculated sensitivity and specificity with 95% confidence intervals (CI) by BI-RADS density score, MTR marker, and combination hereof.

RESULTS: Density and texture were strongly correlated, but the combination led to the identification of subgroups with different sensitivity. Sensitivity was high, about 80%, in women with BI-RADS density score 1 and MTR markers 1 or 2. Sensitivity was low, 67%, in women with BI-RADS density score 2 and MTR marker 4. For women with BI-RADS density scores 3 and 4, the already low sensitivity was further decreased for women with MTR marker 4. Specificity was 97-99% in all subgroups.

CONCLUSION: Our study showed that women with low density constituted a heterogenous group. Classifying women for extra imaging based on density only might be a too crude approach. Screening sensitivity was systematically high in women with fatty and homogenous breast tissue.

TidsskriftBreast Cancer Research
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)111
StatusUdgivet - 17 okt. 2019

ID: 58435742