Improvement in sensitivity of screening mammography with computer-aided detection: A multiinstitutional trial

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American Journal of Roentgenology








OBJECTIVE. Our study evaluated radiologist detection of breast cancer using a computer-aided detection system MATERIALS AND METHODS. Three radiologists reviewed 377 screening mammograms interpreted as showing normal or benign findings 9-24 months before cancer diagnosis from 17 of the 18 participating centers. In 313 cases, study radiologists recommended additional mammographic evaluation. In 177 cases, the area warranting additional workup precisely correlated with the subsequently diagnosed cancer. These 177 missed cancers were evaluated with computer-aided detection. The proportion of radiologists identifying the missed cancers was used to determine radiologist sensitivity without computer-aided detection. RESULTS. The study radiologists determined that 123 of the 377 missed cancer cases warranted workup. Therefore, 123 additional cancers cases could have been found. The calculated radiologist sensitivity without computer-aided detection was therefore 75.4% (377/[377 + 123]). Similarly, using the performance of the system on the missed cancers, we estimated that 80 (65.0%) of these 123 missed cancer cases would have been identified with the use of computer-aided detection. Consequently, the estimated sensitivity of radiologists using computer-aided detection was 91.4% ([377 + 80]/[377 + 123]) - resulting in a 21.2% ([91.4%/75.4%] - 1) increase in radiologist sensitivity with computer-aided detection. CONCLUSION. Use of the computer-aided detection system significantly improved the detection of breast cancer by increasing radiologist sensitivity by 21.2%. Therefore, for every 100,000 women with breast cancer identified without the use of computer-aided detection, an estimated additional 21,200 cancers would be found with the use of computer-aided detection.

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