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Radiology. 2003 Dec;229(3):877-84. Epub 2003 Oct 23.

Population-based mammography screening: comparison of screen-film and full-field digital mammography with soft-copy reading--Oslo I study.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Breast Imaging Center, Ullevaal University Hospital, Kirkeveien 166, N-0407 Oslo, Norway.



To compare screen-film and full-field digital mammography with soft-copy reading in a population-based screening program.


Full-field digital and screen-film mammography were performed in 3,683 women aged 50-69 years. Two standard views of each breast were acquired with each modality. Images underwent independent double reading with use of a five-point rating scale for probability of cancer. Recall rates and positive predictive values were calculated. Cancer detection rates determined with both modalities were compared by using the McNemar test for paired proportions. Retrospective side-by-side analysis for conspicuity of cancers was performed by an external independent radiologist group with experience in both modalities.


In 3,683 cases, 31 cancers were detected. Screen-film mammography depicted 28 (0.76%) malignancies, and full-field digital mammography depicted 23 (0.62%) malignancies. The difference between cancer detection rates was not significant (P =.23). The recall rate for full-field digital mammography (4.6%; 168 of 3,683 cases) was slightly higher than that for screen-film mammography (3.5%; 128 of 3,683 cases). The positive predictive value based on needle biopsy results was 46% for screen-film mammography and 39% for full-field digital mammography. Side-by-side image comparison for cancer conspicuity led to classification of 19 cancers as equal for probability of malignancy, six cancers as slightly better demonstrated at screen-film mammography, and six cancers as slightly better demonstrated at full-field digital mammography.


There was no statistically significant difference in cancer detection rate between screen-film and full-field digital mammography. Cancer conspicuity was equal with both modalities. Full-field digital mammography with soft-copy reading is comparable to screen-film mammography in population-based screening.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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