Digital mammography



Digital mammography  uses digital receptors and computers instead of x-ray film to help examine breast tissue for breast cancer.



The electrical signals can be read on computer screens, permitting more manipulation of images to allow radiologists to view the results more clearly .



It may be utilized for spot views or full field examinations, for a breast biopsy or screening, respectively.


Digital mammography  can be utilized in stereotactic biopsy. 

It is comparable to traditional x-ray methods, though there may be reduced radiation with the technique and it may lead to fewer retests.

It performs no better than film for post-menopausal women, who represent more than three-quarters of women with breast cancer.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against digital mammography.

Separates image acquisition and display allowing image contrast to be manipulated so that dense areas of the breast can be better visualized.

Significantly better than conventional mammography at detecting breast cancer in young, premenopausal, perimenopausal and women with dense breasts.

Not significantly different from film mammography in other subgroups of patients or in the population as a whole in accuracy of diagnosis.

Compared to film mammography it is easier to access images, to use assisted computer analysis, to transmit, retrieve and store images.

Utilizes a lowered dose of radiation than standard film mammography without compromise in diagnostic abilities.

Women presenting for their first screening examination are particularly important to prioritize for DBT, regardless of breast density or age.



The investigators compared the performance of 1,273,492 DMs with 310,587 DBTs across the four Breast Imaging Reporting and Database System density types: almost entirely fatty, scattered fibroglandular density, heterogeneously dense, and extremely dense.



In women aged 50-59 years, screening recalls per 1,000 exams dropped from 241 with DM to 204 with DBT with a relative risk of 0.84.



Cancer detection rates per 1,000 exams in this age group increased from 5.9 with DM to 8.8 with DBT with a relative risk of 1.50.



Recall rates were lower with DBT for women with scattered fibroglandular density and heterogeneously dense breasts in all age groups, as well as in women with almost entirely fatty breasts aged 50-79 years.



There were no significant differences in recall rates in women with extremely dense breasts in any age group



Cancer detection rates are  higher with DBT than with DM in women with heterogeneously dense breasts in all age groups and in women with scattered fibroglandular density at 50-59 years of age and 60-79 years of age. 



Cancer detection rates are  not significantly different with DBT or DM for women with almost entirely fatty breasts or extremely dense breasts of any age.



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