Effect of mammographic screening modality on breast density assessment: Digital mammography versus digital breast tomosynthesis

Aimilia Gastounioti, Anne Marie McCarthy, Lauren Pantalone, Marie Synnestvedt, Despina Kontos, Emily F. Conant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) breast density categories assigned by interpreting radiologists often influence decisions surrounding supplemental breast cancer screening and risk assessment. The landscape of mammographic screening continuously evolves, and different mammographic screening modalities may result in different perception of density, reflected in different assignment of BI-RADS density categories. Purpose: To investigate the effect of screening mammography modality on BI-RADS breast density assessments. Materials and Methods: Data were retrospectively analyzed from 24 736 individual women (42.3% [10 455 of 24 736] white women, 57.7% [14 281 of 24 736] black women; mean age, 56.3 years; age range, 40.0-74.9 years) who underwent from one to seven mammographic screening examinations from September 2010 through February 2017 (60 766 examinations). Three screening modalities were used: Digital mammography alone (8935 examinations); digital mammography with digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT; 30 779 examinations); and synthetic mammography with DBT (21 052 examinations). Random-effects logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate the likelihood of assignment to high versus low BI-RADS density category according to each modality, adjusted for ethnicity, age, body mass index (BMI), and radiologist. The interactions of modality with ethnicity and BMI on density categorization were also tested with the model. Results: Women screened with DBT versus digital mammography alone had lower likelihood regarding categorization of high density breasts (digital mammography and DBT vs digital mammography: Odds ratio, 0.69 [95% confidence interval: 0.61, 0.80], P , .001; synthetic mammography and DBT vs digital mammography: Odds ratio, 0.43 [95% confidence interval: 0.37, 0.50], P , .001). Lower likelihood of high density was also observed at synthetic mammography and DBT compared with digital mammography and DBT (odds ratio, 0.62; 95% confidence interval: 0.56, 0.69; P , .001). There were interactions of modality with ethnicity (P = .007) and BMI (P = .003) on breast density assessment, with greater differences in density categorization according to modality observed for black women than for white women and groups with higher BMI. Conclusion: Breast density categorization may vary by screening mammographic modality, and this effect appears to vary by ethnicity and body mass index.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-327
Number of pages8
JournalRadiology
Volume291
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019

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