Digital mammography screening with new photon-counting technique improves diagnostic performance, suggested a study published online in the journal Radiology
As mammography screening has shifted to digital technology, a range of computed radiography (CR) and direct radiography (DR) systems have emerged. The photon-counting technique is a promising DR approach that uses a unique detector to decrease scattered radiation and noise, enabling dose reduction and making it a promising tool for screening.
"In population-based mammography screening, dose reducing techniques that don't compromise outcome parameters are desirable," said Walter Heindel, M.D., from the Department of Clinical Radiology at the University Hospital Muenster in Muenster, Germany.
For the study, Dr. Heindel and colleagues analyzed data from the mammography screening program in North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state in Germany. They compared the screening performance of a DR photon-counting scan system with those of statewide operating screening units using different digital technologies. During the study period (2009 - 2010), 13,312 women were examined using the photon-counting system, and 993,822 women were screened with either CR or DR systems alone.
The DR photon-counting scan system had a cancer detection rate of 0.76 percent for subsequent screening, compared with 0.59 percent for the other screening units. The recall rate was 5.4 percent for the photon-counting method and 3.4 percent for the other methods.