28 March 2013 A comparison of image interpretation times in full field digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis
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Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) provides three-dimensional images of the breast that enable radiologists to discern whether densities are due to overlapping structures or lesions. To aid assessment of the cost-effectiveness of DBT for screening, we have compared the time taken to interpret DBT images and the corresponding two-dimensional Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM) images. Four Consultant Radiologists experienced in reading FFDM images (4 years 8 months to 8 years) with training in DBT interpretation but more limited experience (137-407 cases in the past 6 months) were timed reading between 24 and 32 two view FFDM and DBT cases. The images were of women recalled from screening for further assessment and women under surveillance because of a family history of breast cancer. FFDM images were read before DBT, according to local practice. The median time for readers to interpret FFDM images was 17.0 seconds, with an interquartile range of 12.3-23.6 seconds. For DBT, the median time was 66.0 seconds, and the interquartile range was 51.1-80.5 seconds. The difference was statistically significant (p<0.001). Reading times were significantly longer in family history clinics (p<0.01). Although it took approximately four times as long to interpret DBT than FFDM images, the cases were more complex than would be expected for routine screening, and with higher mammographic density. The readers were relatively inexperienced in DBT interpretation and may increase their speed over time. The difference in times between clinics may be due to increased throughput at assessment, or decreased density.
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Susan Astley, Susan Astley, Sophie Connor, Sophie Connor, Yit Lim, Yit Lim, Catriona Tate, Catriona Tate, Helen Entwistle, Helen Entwistle, Julie Morris, Julie Morris, Sigrid Whiteside, Sigrid Whiteside, Jamie Sergeant, Jamie Sergeant, Mary Wilson, Mary Wilson, Ursula Beetles, Ursula Beetles, Caroline Boggis, Caroline Boggis, Fiona Gilbert, Fiona Gilbert, } "A comparison of image interpretation times in full field digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis", Proc. SPIE 8673, Medical Imaging 2013: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 86730S (28 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2006039; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2006039

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