Accuracy of GE digital breast tomosynthesis vs supplementary mammographic views for diagnosis of screen-detected soft-tissue breast lesions

Objective: To compare the accuracy of standard supplementary views and GE digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) for assessment of soft-tissue mammographic abnormalities. Methods: Women recalled for further assessment of soft-tissue abnormalities were recruited and received standard supplementary views (typically spot compression views) and two-view GE DBT. The added value of DBT in the assessment process was determined by analysing data collected prospectively by radiologists working up the cases. Following anonymization of cases, there was also a retrospective multireader review. The readers first read bilateral standard two-view digital mammography (DM) together with the supplementary mammographic views and gave a combined score for suspicion of malignancy on a five-point scale. The same readers then read bilateral standard two-view DM together with two-view DBT. Pathology data were obtained. Differences were assessed using receiver operating characteristic analysis. Results: The study population was 342 lesions in 322 patients. The final diagnosis was malignant in 113 cases (33%) and benign/normal in 229 cases (67%). In the prospective analysis, the performance of two-view DM plus DBT was at least equivalent to the performance of two-view DM and standard mammographic supplementary views—the area under the curve (AUC) was 0.946 and 0.922, respectively, which did not reach statistical significance. Similar results were obtained for the retrospective review—AUC was 0.900 (DBT) and 0.873 (supplementary views), which did not reach statistical significance. Conclusion: The accuracy of GE DBT in the assessment of screen detected soft-tissue abnormalities is equivalent to the use of standard supplementary mammographic views. Advances in knowledge: The vast majority of evidence relating to the use of DBT has been gathered from research using Hologic equipment. This study provides evidence for the use of the commercially available GE DBT system demonstrating that it is at least equivalent to supplementary mammographic views in the assessment of soft-tissue screen-detected abnormalities.