(HealthDay News) — Readings of computed tomography (CT) breast density are consistent with mammography readings and have greater interobserver agreement, according to a study published in the January issue of Radiology.

Mary Salvatore, MD, from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed mammograms and chest CT scans from 206 women obtained within 1 year of each other. Scans were classified by reviewers into one of the four breast density types defined by the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System of the American College of Radiology, with interreader agreement calculated by density grade. Semiautomated computer-derived measurements of breast density were compared with radiologist assessments in 40 cases.

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The researchers found that interreader agreement was higher for the CT density grades than for the mammographic density types (0.79 vs. 0.62). For breast density grades on CT images, the intrareader reliability was 0.88. 

In 90% of cases (36 out of 40), the computer-derived breast density measurements agreed with those of the radiologists. There was agreement for all cases when four cases were manually adjusted for the complex anatomy.

“CT breast density readings represent an opportunity to provide additional information about the risk of breast cancer that is readily available and currently not being used in a standardized manner,” the researchers wrote.

Several researchers disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and imaging industries.


  1. Salvatore M, Margolies L, Kale M, et al. Breast Density: Comparison of Chest CT with Mammography. Radiology. 2014;doi:10.1148/radiol.13130733.