Digital Breast Tomosynthesis and Synthetic 2D Mammography versus Digital Mammography: Evaluation in a Population-based Screening Program

Radiology. 2018 Jun;287(3):787-794. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2018171361. Epub 2018 Mar 1.


Purpose To compare the performance of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) and two-dimensional synthetic mammography (SM) with that of digital mammography (DM) in a population-based mammographic screening program. Materials and Methods In this prospective cohort study, data from 37 185 women screened with DBT and SM and from 61 742 women screened with DM as part of a population-based screening program in 2014 and 2015 were included. Early performance measures, including recall rate due to abnormal mammographic findings, rate of screen-detected breast cancer, positive predictive value of recall, positive predictive value of needle biopsy, histopathologic type, tumor size, tumor grade, lymph node involvement, hormonal status, Ki-67 level, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status were compared in women who underwent DBT and SM screening and in those who underwent DM screening by using χ2 tests, two-sample unpaired t tests, and tests of proportions. Results Recall rates were 3.4% for DBT and SM screening and 3.3% for DM screening (P = .563). DBT and SM screening showed a significantly higher rate of screen-detected cancer compared with DM screening (9.4 vs 6.1 cancers per 1000 patients screened, respectively; P < .001). The rate of detection of tumors 10 mm or smaller was 3.2 per 1000 patients screened with DBT and SM and 1.8 per 1000 patients screened with DM (P < .001), and the rate of grade 1 tumors was 3.3 per 1000 patients screened with DBT and SM versus 1.4 per 1000 patients screened with DM (P < .001). On the basis of immunohistochemical analyses, rates of lymph node involvement and tumor subtypes did not differ between women who underwent DBT and SM screening and those who underwent DM screening. Conclusion DBT and SM screening increased the detection rate of histologically favorable tumors compared with that attained with DM screening. © RSNA, 2018 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Mammography / methods*
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results