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Fewer Recalls With Consensus Double Read Mammograms

Fewer Recalls With Consensus Double Read Mammograms

ATLANTA—Compared with independent double reading of mammograms, consensus
double reading detects slightly more cancers while significantly decreasing
recall rates, thereby minimizing the anxiety that women might experience from
undergoing a second mammogram, Susan Harvey, MD, said at the 102nd Annual
Meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society (abstract 63).

Dr. Harvey is assistant professor of radiology, University of Vermont
College of Medicine, and lead author of the study.

With independent double reading of mammograms, two radiologists read each
mammogram separately, and if either radiologist wants a recall of a woman for
additional imaging studies, the recall takes place.

"Therefore, by the nature of it, it has to increase the recall
rate," Dr. Harvey told ONI in an interview.

With consensus double reading, two radiologists read the mammogram and they
both must agree on the findings and whether a recall is needed. If they
disagree, a third radiologist is asked to review the case.

Over a 10-month period, Dr. Harvey and her colleagues performed consensus
double reading of 15,985 screening mammograms, which led to 391 biopsies
(2.4%). A total of 103 cancers were detected, and the second reader was
responsible for detection of 10 of the cancers, a 9.7% increase in cancer
detection. The recall rate was 13.2%.

In comparison, in their previous study of independent double reading, 25,369
mammograms read over 18 months led to 676 biopsies (2.7%). A total of 143
cancers were detected, and the second reader detected 11 of these cancers, for
a 7.7% increase in detection. The recall rate was 14.2%.

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