Variability of interpretive accuracy among diagnostic mammography facilities

Sara L. Jackson, Stephen H. Taplin, Edward A. Sickles, Linn Abraham, William E. Barlow, Patricia (Patty) Carney, Berta Geller, Eric A. Berns, Gary R. Cutter, Joann G. Elmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


BackgroundInterpretive performance of screening mammography varies substantially by facility, but performance of diagnostic interpretation has not been studied.MethodsFacilities performing diagnostic mammography within three registries of the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium were surveyed about their structure, organization, and interpretive processes. Performance measurements (false-positive rate, sensitivity, and likelihood of cancer among women referred for biopsy [positive predictive value of biopsy recommendation {PPV2}]) from January 1, 1998, through December 31, 2005, were prospectively measured. Logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses, adjusted for patient and radiologist characteristics, were used to assess the association between facility characteristics and interpretive performance. All statistical tests were two-sided.ResultsForty-five of the 53 facilities completed a facility survey (85% response rate), and 32 of the 45 facilities performed diagnostic mammography. The analyses included 28100 diagnostic mammograms performed as an evaluation of a breast problem, and data were available for 118 radiologists who interpreted diagnostic mammograms at the facilities. Performance measurements demonstrated statistically significant interpretive variability among facilities (sensitivity, P =. 006; false-positive rate, P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)814-827
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Jackson, S. L., Taplin, S. H., Sickles, E. A., Abraham, L., Barlow, W. E., Carney, P. P., ... Elmore, J. G. (2009). Variability of interpretive accuracy among diagnostic mammography facilities. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 101(11), 814-827.