The purpose of this study was to determine whether the interpretation of microcalcifications assessed on images zoomed (x 2.0) from digital mammograms is at least equivalent to that from digital magnification mammography (x 1.8) with respect to diagnostic accuracy and image quality. Three radiologists with different levels of experience in mammography reviewed each full-field digital mammography reader set for 185 patients with pathologically proven microcalcification clusters, which consisted of digital magnification mammograms (MAGs) with a magnification factor of 1.8 and images zoomed from mammograms (ZOOM) with a zoom factor of 2.0. Each radiologist rated their suspicion of breast cancer in microcalcific lesions using a six-point scale and the image quality and their confidence in the decisions using a five-point scale. Results were analysed according to display methods using areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (Az value) for ZOOM and MAGs to interpret microcalcifications, and the Wilcoxon matched pairs signed rank test for image quality and confidence levels. There was no statistically significant difference in the level of suspicion of breast cancer between the ZOOM and MAG groups (Az=0.8680 for ZOOM; Az=0.8682 for MAG; p=0.9897). However, MAG images were significantly better than ZOOM images in terms of visual imaging quality (p<0.001), and the confidence level with MAG was better than with ZOOM (p<0.001). In conclusion, the performance of radiologists in the diagnosis of microcalcifications using ZOOM was similar to that using MAGs, although image quality and confidence levels were better using MAGs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging