Interpretation time for screening digital mammograms: Is it efficient?

Jan 06, 2009

Digital mammograms take longer to interpret than film-screen mammograms, according to a study performed at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

The study included four radiologists who interpreted 268 digital screening mammograms and 189 film-screening mammograms. "The average interpretation time for all of our readers was 240 seconds (4 minutes) for digital screening mammograms and 127 seconds (2 minutes, 7 seconds) for film-screen screening mammograms," said Tamara Miner Haygood, MD, lead author of the study. "The digital screening mammograms took nearly twice as long to interpret as the film-screen screening mammograms," said Dr. Haygood.

The study identified factors that might have contributed to the difference in time. "Those factors were the identity of the interpreting radiologist, whether there were older studies available for comparison, whether the radiologist looked for and hung up additional films, how many images were obtained and whether the study was normal or not. In each of these situations, the digital images took longer to interpret than the film-screen images," said Dr. Haygood.

"As a result of this study, radiologists should be able to make a more informed choice about whether digital of film-screen mammograms are right for their practice, and if they choose digital screening mammograms, they will have a better idea of how much time to allow for reading them," said Dr. Haygood.

"Digital screening mammograms offer an improvement in diagnostic accuracy compared with film-screen screening mammograms and they have other advantages such as improved ease of storage and retrieval," said Dr. Haygood. It will be very beneficial if manufacturers of digital equipment, in cooperation with radiologists, can improve equipment and reading techniques to bring interpretation speed for digital mammograms closer to interpretation speed for film-screen mammograms," she added.

This study appears in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Source: American Roentgen Ray Society

Explore further: Humiliation tops list of mistreatment toward med students

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US approves first 3-D mammogram

Feb 11, 2011

The first three-dimensional mammogram device was approved Friday by the US Food and Drug Administration, in the hopes that the new technology would improve early breast cancer detection.

Breast cancer detection improved with image processing

Nov 09, 2010

Siemens researchers in Portugal hope to detect breast cancer more reliably in the future using a new statistical detection method. The digital image processing technique reveals tiny calcium deposits in the ...

Recommended for you

Humiliation tops list of mistreatment toward med students

7 hours ago

Each year thousands of students enroll in medical schools across the country. But just how many feel they've been disrespected, publicly humiliated, ridiculed or even harassed by their superiors at some point during their ...

Surrogate offers clues into man with 16 babies

15 hours ago

When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple that wanted a child but couldn't conceive.

Nurses go on strike in Ebola-hit Liberia

16 hours ago

Nurses at Liberia's largest hospital went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against a deadly Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in the west African nation.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Aug 31, 2014

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

User comments : 0