Original Article

Japanese Journal of Radiology

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 168-175

First online:

Detection of masses and calcifications by soft-copy reading: comparison of two postprocessing algorithms for full-field digital mammography

  • Takayoshi UematsuAffiliated withDepartment of Breast Imaging and Breast Intervention, Breast Center and Department of Clinical Physiology, Shizuoka Cancer Center Hospital Email author 

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The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a commercially available postprocessing algorithm on the detection of masses and microcalcifications of breast cancer by soft-copy reading.

Materials and methods

The study included 64 digital mammograms with 16 histologically proven abnormal findings (eight masses and eight microcalcifications) and 48 normal breasts. Two image-processing algorithms were applied to the digital images, which were acquired using General Electric units. The commercially available advanced and standard postprocessed digital mammograms were evaluated in a localization receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve experiment involving seven mammography radiographers.


The mean area under the ROC curve was 0.921 ± 0.022 for the commercially available advanced postprocessed digital mammograms session and 0.904 ± 0.026 for the standard postprocessed digital mammograms session (P = 0.1953). Observer agreement among the readers was better for the advanced postprocessed digital mammograms than for the standard postprocessed digital mammograms.


During soft-copy reading, the interpretation accuracy might be influenced by the postprocessing algorithm.

Key words

Digital mammography Soft-copy reading Postprocessing algorithm ROC