Mammography Clinical Image Quality and the False Positive Rate in a Canadian Breast Cancer Screening Program

PURPOSE: The study sought to determine if mammography quality is associated with the false positive (FP) rate in the Quebec breast cancer screening program in 2004 and 2005. METHODS: Mammography quality of a random sample of screen-film mammograms was evaluated by an expert radiologist following the criteria of the Canadian Association of Radiologists. For each screening examination, scores ranging from 1 (poor quality) to 5 (excellent quality) were attributed for positioning, compression, contrast, exposure level, sharpness, and artifacts. A final overall quality score (lower or higher) was also given. Poisson regression models with robust estimation of variance and adjusted for potential confounding factors were used to assess associations of mammography quality with the FP rate. RESULTS: Among 1,209 women without cancer, there were 104 (8.6%) FPs. Lower overall mammography quality is associated with an increase in the FP rate (risk ratio [RR], 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0-2.1; P = .07) but this increase was not statistically significant. Artifacts were associated with an increase in the FP rate (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.3-3.3; P = .01) whereas lower quality of exposure level was related to a reduction of the FP rate (RR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.1-1.0; P = .01). Lower quality scores for all other quality attributes were related to a nonstatistically significant increase in the FP rate of 10%-30%. CONCLUSIONS: Artifacts can have a substantial effect on the FP rate. The effect of overall mammography quality on the FP rate may also be substantial and needs to be clarified.
Authors (Zotero)
Guertin, Marie-Hélène; Théberge, Isabelle; Zomahoun, Hervé Tchala Vignon; Dufresne, Michel-Pierre; Pelletier, Éric; Brisson, Jacques
Date (Zotero)
May, 2018