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Journal of Radiological Review 2020 January-February;7(1):21-5

DOI: 10.23736/S2723-9284.20.00254-5


language: English

A cohort of Italian radiologists match international counterparts in breast cancer detection efficacy

Anna BRENNAN 1, Veruska CEDIEL RODRIGUEZ 1, Nicolas COOK 1, Kaitlin DEAN 1, Sarah DRYBURGH 1, Hayden LOWE 1, Charlotte MAHON 1, Saxon MCGOWAN 1, William MOOG 1, Joshua O’BRIEN 1, Jorja WHALE 1, Brooke COLLEY 1, Jessica LYNCH 1, Callum DOUBLE 1, Hayden MUNRO 1, Kriscia TAPIA 2, Phuong-Du TRIEU 2 , Baolin P. SOH 3, Maria CORVA 4, Maura TONUTTI 4, Patrick BRENNAN 2, Louise PUSLEDNIK 1, 2

1 St Matthews Catholic School, Mudgee, Australia; 2 Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; 3 Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore; 4 Department of Radiology, Trieste University Hospital, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy


BACKGROUND: Italy has amongst the highest incidence rates of breast cancer in the world, highlighting the need for high quality early diagnosis to reduce mortality. This study investigated a group of Italian radiologists’ detection efficacy, compared to their Australian and Singaporean counterparts.
METHODS: Using a test-set of 60 mammographic cases, 20 of which contained a cancer, jackknife free response operating characteristic figure-of-merit (JAFROC FOM) and receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (ROC AUC) were calculated as well as location sensitivity, sensitivity and specificity.
RESULTS: The data indicates that while years of experience is an important factor in breast cancer detection, consistently reading mammograms produces a better reading performance; this analysis indicates that, within this group of Italian radiologists, those who read the number of mammograms (5000/year) required by national standards perform at the same standard as Australians who do the same (2000/year). Within the study, the JAFROC metric displays similar scores for Australian and Singaporean radiologists who read <100 cases per week, whereas this group of Italian radiologist’s scores were significantly lower. Within the group, Italian radiologists who had <10 years mammography experience also demonstrated lower scores when compared to their Australian and more experienced Italian colleagues.
CONCLUSIONS: The results highlight the importance of reading sufficient number of mammograms and the need for appropriate training to maintain levels of diagnostic efficacy throughout one’s radiologic career.

KEY WORDS: Mammography; Radiologists; Detection; International; Experience

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