[Computerised assessment of screening mammograms]

G. den Heeten and N. Karssemeijer

Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde 2011;155(18):A3025.

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More than one million mammograms are performed in the Netherlands each year. Today, these images are all in digital format and processed by various types of software for optimal display during radiological analysis. As a result of continuous quality control on national public health screening for breast cancer, approximately 1000 cases of interval carcinoma and any T2 tumours identified during this screening are re-assessed. The results of these retrospective analyses suggest that there is room for improvement in terms of the reliability of screening mammography without this resulting in an excessive increase of false positive results. Research has shown that the more radiological evaluators are involved, the better the results. Alternatively, a computer can be utilised for detecting abnormalities. Large-scale use of Computer-Assisted Detection (CAD) is already underway in some countries. For this reason, the option of adding CAD to the current practice of double assessment of mammograms could be considered a sensible option for the future.