European Radiology

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 183-191

First online:

Full-field digital mammography compared to screen film mammography in the prevalent round of a population-based screening programme: the Vestfold County Study

  • Einar VigelandAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Vestfold Hospital Email author 
  • , Herman KlaasenAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
  • , Tor Audun KlingenAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Vestfold Hospital
  • , Solveig HofvindAffiliated withThe Cancer Registry of Norway
  • , Per SkaaneAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Ullevaal University Hospital

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The purpose of the study was to compare the performance of full-field digital mammography (FFDM) with soft-copy reading to screen film mammography (SFM) used during the first prevalent 2-year round of population-based screening. A total of 18,239 women aged 50–69 years were screened with FFDM as part of the Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Programme (NBCSP). Process indicators were compared to data from 324,763 women screened with SFM using the common national database of the NBCSP. The cancer detection rates were 0.77% (140/18,239) for FFDM and 0.65% (2,105/324,763) for SFM (p = 0.058). For ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) alone, the results were: FFDM 0.21% (38/18,239) compared to SFM 0.11% (343/324,763) (p < 0.001). Recall rates due to positive mammography were for FFDM 4.09% (746/18,239), while for SFM 4.16% (13,520/324,764) (p = 0.645), due to technically insufficient imaging: FFDM 0.22% (40/18,239) versus SFM 0.61% (1,993/324,763) (p < 0.001). The positive predictive value (PPV) in the FFDM group was 16.6% (140/843), while 13.5% (2,105/15,537) for SFM (p = 0.014). No statistically significant differences were recorded concerning histological morphology, tumour size, or lymph node involvement. In conclusion FFDM had a significantly higher detection rate for DCIS than SFM. For invasive cancers no difference was seen. FFDM also had a significantly higher PPV and a significantly lower technical recall rate.


Breast cancer Mammography Mass screening