Performance characteristics of digital vs film screen mammography in community practice

Firas Dabbous, Therese A. Dolecek, Sarah M. Friedewald, Katherine Y. Tossas-Milligan, Tere Macarol, Wm Thomas Summerfelt, Garth H. Rauscher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We compared the performance characteristics of 297 629 full field digital (FFDM) and 416 791 screen film mammograms (SFM). Sensitivity increased with age, decreased with breast density, and was lower for more aggressive and lobular tumors. While sensitivity did not differ significantly by modality, specificity was generally 1%-2% points higher for FFDM than for SFM across age and breast density categories. The lower recall rate for FFDM vs SFM in our study may partially explain performance differences by modality. In this large health care organization, modest gains in performance were achieved with the introduction of FFDM as a replacement for SFM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-372
Number of pages4
JournalBreast Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • breast cancer
  • comparative effectiveness
  • mammography screening
  • sensitivity
  • specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Surgery


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