Combination of DBT and synthetic mammography reduces recall rates among women with non-dense breasts

Screening women with non-dense breasts with a combination of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) and 2D synthetic mammography (SM) leads to lower recall rates than standard digital mammography (DM), according to new findings published in Radiology.

The authors examined data from more than 28,000 patients who underwent breast cancer screening in Norway from 2016 to 2017. The median patient age was 59 years old. Approximately half were screened with DBT plus SM, and the other half was screened with DM.

Breast density assessments were performed on each patient using automated software by Volpara. Assessments were then categorized as Volpara Density Grade 1, 2, 3 or 4, rankings that are typically very close to BI-RADS classifications.

Overall, DBT plus SM resulted in lower recall rates for women in the VDG 1 (2.1% vs. 3.3%) and VDG 2 (3.2% vs. 4.3%) categories. No significant difference was detected for women in the VDG 3 or VDG 4 categories.

The adjusted relative risk for recall, a false-positive finding or screen-detected breast cancer all increased along with VDG categories when screening with DBT plus SM—no such trend was noted when screening occurred

“DBT plus SM with automated density assessment may be a responsive and effective combination for stratified risk-based screening for breast cancer, including supplemental screening techniques or more frequent screening among women with dense breasts,” wrote lead author Nataliia Moshina, MD, PhD, from the Cancer Registry of Norway, and colleagues. “More studies, combined with systematic reviews and meta-analyses, are needed to make evidence-based conclusions.”

The full analysis from Radiology is available here.