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Breast. 2016 Jun;27:52-61. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2016.01.002. Epub 2016 Mar 25.

Systematic review of 3D mammography for breast cancer screening.

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York Health Economics Consortium, University of York, York, UK.
Referenzzentrum Mammographie Munchen, Munich, Germany.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, Baltimore, USA.
York Health Economics Consortium, University of York, York, UK. Electronic address:


This review investigated the relative performance of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) (alone or with full field digital mammography (FFDM) or synthetic digital mammography) compared with FFDM alone for detecting breast cancer lesions in asymptomatic women. A systematic review was carried out according to systematic reviewing principles provided in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Diagnostic Test Accuracy. A protocol was developed a priori. The review was registered with PROSPERO (number CRD42014013949). Searches were undertaken in October 2014. Following selection, five studies were eligible. Higher cancer detection rates were observed when comparing DBT + FFDM with FFDM in two European studies: the summary difference per 1000 screens was 2.43 (95% CI: 1.8 to 3.1). Both European studies found lower false positive rates for individual readers. One found a lower recall rate based on conditional recall. The second study was not designed to compare post-arbitration recall rates between FFDM and DBT + FFDM. One European study presented data on interval cancer rates; sensitivity and specificity for DBT + FFDM were both higher compared to FFDM. One large multicentre US study showed a higher cancer detection rate for DBT + FFDM, while two smaller US studies did not find statistically significant differences. Reductions in recall and false positive rates were observed in the US studies in favour of DBT + FFDM. In comparison to FFDM, DBT, as an adjunct to FFDM, has a higher cancer detection rate, increasing the effectiveness of breast cancer screening. Additional benefits of DBT may also include reduced recalls and, consequently, reduced costs and distress caused to women who would have been recalled.


Breast cancer screening; Full-field digital mammography; Mammography; Systematic review; Tomosynthesis; Tumour imaging

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