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Computer System Allows for Single Read of Mammograms

Cancer detection rates same for single read with computer system as for standard double read

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In the assessment of mammography results, a single reading with a computer-aided detection system can detect small breast cancer as accurately as a standard double reading, according to a report published online Oct. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Fiona J. Gilbert, of the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomly assigned 31,057 women undergoing routine mammography to have the results assessed by a double reading, a single reading with computer-aided detection, or both.

The researchers found that there was no significant difference in the proportion of cancers detected by double reading or single reading with computer-aided detection (199 of 227 or 87.7 percent, and 198 of 227 or 87.2 percent, respectively). But they found a small but significant difference in the recall rates for double reading and single reading with computer-aided detection (3.4 percent versus 3.9 percent, respectively).

"The results of this study are applicable to programs in which double reading is standard practice," the authors conclude. "Where single reading is standard practice, computer-aided detection has the potential to improve cancer-detection rates to the level achieved by double reading."

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