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J Breast Cancer. 2013 Sep;16(3):322-8. doi: 10.4048/jbc.2013.16.3.322. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

Detection of breast cancer in asymptomatic and symptomatic groups using computer-aided detection with full-field digital mammography.

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Department of Radiology, Incheon St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.



We aimed to determine the sensitivity of computer-aided detection (CAD) applied to digital mammography in asymptomatic and symptomatic breast cancer patients.


We retrospectively analyzed digital mammography and CAD images from 210 patients diagnosed with breast cancer. The patients were divided into symptomatic and asymptomatic groups. The sensitivity of CAD in both groups was assessed in relation to breast tissue density, histopathological type of breast cancer, and tumor size.


The detection rate of the CAD system was 87.8% in the asymptomatic group. The sensitivity in different tissue densities was 100% in fatty breasts (P1), 88.9% with scattered fibroglandular densities (P2), 94.4% in heterogeneously dense breasts (P3), and 66.7% in extremely dense breasts (P4). The detection rate of the CAD system in the symptomatic group was 87.2%, and the sensitivity was 90.5%, 90%, 86.6%, and 75% in P1-P4 breasts, respectively. In the asymptomatic group, the CAD system detected 90.3% of invasive ductal carcinomas, not otherwise specified (IDC-NOS) and 88.9% of ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS), but did not detect other types of malignancy. In the symptomatic group, the CAD system detected 88.2% of IDC-NOS, 88.9% of DCIS and 75% of other types of malignancy. When analyzed according to tumor size, the sensitivity of CAD in the asymptomatic and symptomatic groups was 82.6% and 83.3% for tumors <1 cm, 76.5% and 82.4% for tumors between 1 and 2 cm, and 91.7% and 89% in tumors >2 cm.


The sensitivity of CAD was low in P4 breasts and high for tumors larger than 2 cm, with no statistically significant differences between the asymptomatic and symptomatic groups for IDC-NOS and DCIS. CAD showed greater sensitivity for other neoplasms in symptomatic patients.


Breast neoplasms; Computer-assisted diagnosis; Mammography

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