(HealthDay News) — For patients presenting for screening mammography, the addition of tomosynthesis is associated with reduced recall rates for all breast densities and patient ages, according to a study published online July 30 in Radiology.

Brian M. Haas, M.D., from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues compared the screening recall and cancer detection rates for tomosynthesis plus conventional digital mammography versus mammography alone in a cohort of 13,158 patients who presented for screening mammography at four clinical sites. Of the patients, 6,100 underwent tomosynthesis in addition to conventional mammography.

The researchers found that the overall recall rate was significantly lower for patients in the tomosynthesis group versus the conventional mammography alone group (8.4 versus 12.0 percent). For all breast densities and patient age groups, the addition of tomosynthesis reduced recall rates. Significant differences were noted for scattered fibroglandular, heterogeneously dense, and extremely dense breasts, and for patients aged younger than 40, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, and 60 to 69 years. After adjustment for age, breast density, and increased breast cancer risk, the findings persisted. There was no significant difference in the cancer detection rate for tomosynthesis versus conventional mammography alone (5.7 versus 5.2 per 1,000 patients; P = 0.70).

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“In summary, in our study we found that breast tomosynthesis reduces screening mammography recall rates, particularly for younger women and women with dense breasts, without significant changes in cancer detection,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to Hologic.

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