European Radiology

, Volume 18, Issue 12, pp 2817–2825 | Cite as

Breast tomosynthesis and digital mammography: a comparison of breast cancer visibility and BIRADS classification in a population of cancers with subtle mammographic findings

  • Ingvar AnderssonEmail author
  • Debra M. Ikeda
  • Sophia Zackrisson
  • Mark Ruschin
  • Tony Svahn
  • Pontus Timberg
  • Anders Tingberg


The main purpose was to compare breast cancer visibility in one-view breast tomosynthesis (BT) to cancer visibility in one- or two-view digital mammography (DM). Thirty-six patients were selected on the basis of subtle signs of breast cancer on DM. One-view BT was performed with the same compression angle as the DM image in which the finding was least/not visible. On BT, 25 projections images were acquired over an angular range of 50 degrees, with double the dose of one-view DM. Two expert breast imagers classified one- and two-view DM, and BT findings for cancer visibility and BIRADS cancer probability in a non-blinded consensus study. Forty breast cancers were found in 37 breasts. The cancers were rated more visible on BT compared to one-view and two-view DM in 22 and 11 cases, respectively, (p < 0.01 for both comparisons). Comparing one-view DM to one-view BT, 21 patients were upgraded on BIRADS classification (p < 0.01). Comparing two-view DM to one-view BT, 12 patients were upgraded on BIRADS classification (p < 0.01). The results indicate that the cancer visibility on BT is superior to DM, which suggests that BT may have a higher sensitivity for breast cancer detection.


Breast Tomosynthesis Breast cancer 



The study was supported by the Swedish Cancer Society, the European Union 5th Framework Program, the Cancer Foundation of Malmö University Hospital, and by the Sydney L. Frank Foundation


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingvar Andersson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Debra M. Ikeda
    • 2
  • Sophia Zackrisson
    • 1
  • Mark Ruschin
    • 3
    • 4
  • Tony Svahn
    • 3
  • Pontus Timberg
    • 3
  • Anders Tingberg
    • 3
  1. 1.Diagnostic Centre of Imaging and Functional MedicineMalmö University HospitalMalmöSweden
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyStanford University, Stanford Advanced Medicine CenterStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medical Radiation PhysicsLund University, Malmö University HospitalMalmöSweden
  4. 4.Department of Radiation PhysicsUniversity Health Network/Princess Margaret HospitalTorontoCanada

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