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Radiology. 2000 May;215(2):554-62.

Potential contribution of computer-aided detection to the sensitivity of screening mammography.

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  • 1Dept of Radiology, Univ of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Erratum in

  • Radiology 2000 Jul;216(1):306.



To determine the false-negative rate in screening mammography, the capability of computer-aided detection (CAD) to identify these missed lesions, and whether or not CAD increases the radiologists' recall rate.


All available screening mammograms that led to the detection of biopsy-proved cancer (n = 1,083) and the most recent corresponding prior mammograms (n = 427) were collected from 13 facilities. Panels of radiologists evaluated the retrospectively visible prior mammograms by means of blinded review. All mammograms were analyzed by a CAD system that marks features associated with cancer. The recall rates of 14 radiologists were prospectively measured before and after installation of the CAD system.


At retrospective review, 67% (286 of 427) of screening mammography-detected breast cancers were visible on the prior mammograms. At independent, blinded review by panels of radiologists, 27% (115 of 427) were interpreted as warranting recall on the basis of a statistical evaluation index; and the CAD system correctly marked 77% (89 of 115) of these cases. The original attending radiologists' sensitivity was 79% (427 of [427 + 115]). There was no statistically significant increase in the radiologists' recall rate when comparing the values before (8.3%) with those after (7.6%) installation of the CAD system.


The original attending radiologists had a false-negative rate of 21% (115 of [427 + 115]). CAD prompting could have potentially helped reduce this false-negative rate by 77% (89 of 115) without an increase in the recall rate.

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