3D Stereoscopic Digital Mammography (SDM) Might Improve Breast Cancer Detection

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(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Stereoscopic 3-dimensional (3D) digital mammography (SDM) improves breast tumor detection when compared to 2D mammography, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.

“Compared with (2D) DM (digital mammography), stereoscopic DM significantly improved specificity for detection of cancer, while maintaining comparable sensitivity,” reported Carl J. D'Orsi, MD, of the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA, and coauthors. “The recall rate was significantly reduced with stereoscopic DM compared with DM.”

SDM allows side-by-side dual-monitor 3D volumetric views and therefore, better visualization of tumor contours and shapes.

The researchers compared SDM and 2D SDM mammograms for 779 patients with a history or family history of breast cancer, and a mean age of 58.6 years (age range, 32-91 years). Findings from both imaging exams were then compared to outcomes as determined by biopsy or 1-year follow-up.  

A total of 19 breast cancers were confirmed (16 near the time of mammography). Compared to 2D DM, SDM exhibited superior specificity (correct negative findings; 91.2 vs 87.8%; P=0.0024) and accuracy (90.9% vs 87.4%; P=0.0023), the authors reported. Sensitivity (the proportion of correct positive test results) was similar for 2D DM and SDM, however (P=0.99).  A total of four breast tumors were identified only with SDM and three with 2D DM alone, the authors noted.

Adoption of SDM “could decrease the number of recalled findings, while preserving the sensitivity for cancer detection and improving overall accuracy,” the authors concluded.


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