(HealthDay News) — Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) screening outcomes are favorable and sustained over multiple years, according to a study published online March 10 in Radiology.

Emily F. Conant, M.D., from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues compared DBT outcomes over multiple years and rounds to digital mammography (DM) screening outcomes. The authors analyzed one year of DM and five years of DBT screening, including 67,350 examinations (56,839 DBT examinations and 10,511 DM examinations) performed in 29,310 women.

The researchers found that the recall rate percentages (RR) were significantly lower for DBT versus DM (8.0 versus 10.4 percent). The cancer detection rate (CDR) was higher with DBT than DM (6.0 versus 5.1 per 1,000 women screened) although the difference was not statistically significant. Compared with DM, for five years of DBT, both RR and CDR remained improved at the population level. The rates of false negatives were slightly, but not statistically significantly, lower for DBT than DM (0.6 versus 0.9 per 1,000 women screened). In adjusted analyses, for DBT versus DM, the investigators observed significant improvements in RR, biopsy recommendation rates, and positive predictive value of recall. A higher proportion of DBT-detected cancers were invasive and had poor prognosis characteristics compared with DM.

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“Our results show that we can improve our screening outcomes for younger women with DBT by finding clinically important cancers earlier with fewer false positives,” Conant said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.

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