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24 March 2016 Investigating the link between the radiological experience and the allocation of an 'equivocal finding'
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Rationale and Objectives: This study will investigate the link between radiologists’ experience in reporting mammograms, their caseloads and the decision to give a classification of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) category ‘3’ (indeterminate or equivocal finding). Methods: A test set of 60 mammograms comprising of 20 abnormal and 40 normal cases were shown to 92 radiologists. Each radiologist was asked to identify and localize abnormalities and provide a RANZCR assessment category. Details were obtained from each reader regarding their experience, qualifications and breast reading activities. ‘Equivocal fractions’ were calculated by dividing the number of ‘equivocal findings’ given by each radiologist in the abnormal and normal cases by the total number of cases analyzed: 20 and 40 respectively. The ‘equivocal fractions’ for each of the groups (normal vs abnormal) were calculated and independently correlated with age, number of years since qualification as a radiologist, number of years reading mammograms, number of mammograms read per year, number of hours reading mammograms per week and number of mammograms read over lifetime (the number of years reading mammograms multiplied by the number of mammograms read per year). The non-parametric Spearman test was used. Results: Statistically negative correlations were noted between ‘equivocal fractions’ for the following groups: • For abnormal cases: hours per week (r= -0.38 P= 0.0001) • For normal cases: total number of mammograms read per year (r= -0.29, P= 0.006); number of mammograms read over lifetime (r= -0.21, P= 0.049)); hours reading mammograms per week (r= - 0.20, P= 0.05). Conclusion: Radiologists with greater reading experience assign fewer RANZCR category 3 or equivocal classifications. The findings have implications for screening program efficacy and recall rates. This work is still in progress and further data will be presented at the conference.
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Mohammad A. Rawashdeh, Camila Vidotti, Warwick Lee, Sarah J. Lewis, Claudia Mello-Thoms, Warren M. Reed, Kriscia Tapia, and Patrick C. Brennan "Investigating the link between the radiological experience and the allocation of an 'equivocal finding'", Proc. SPIE 9787, Medical Imaging 2016: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 978710 (24 March 2016);

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