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Logo of brcnresBioMed CentralBiomed Central Web Sitesearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBreast Cancer Research : BCR
Breast Cancer Res. 2010; 12(Suppl 3): P4.
Published online 2010 October 25. doi:  10.1186/bcr2657
PMCID: PMC2978821

Accuracy of breast cancer detection with full-field digital mammography and integral computer-aided detection correlated with breast density as assessed by a new automated volumetric breast density measurement system


To assess the diagnostic performance of computer-aided detection (CAD) for full-field digital mammography (FFDM) correlated with breast density assessed by an automated breast density measurement system (Hologic, Quantra) in breast cancers and age-matched healthy controls.

Materials and methods

Two hundred breast cancers imaged with FFDM and 200 age-matched healthy controls were evaluated retrospectively using CAD. A CAD mark was scored true-positive if it correctly indicated a malignant lesion. All other CAD marks were considered false. CAD sensitivity and specificity were calculated and correlated with mammographic breast density (%).


CAD correctly identified 157 of the 200 cancers, a sensitivity of 79%. Sensitivity was suggestively but nonsignificantly lower with increased density (P = 0.09). In those cancer cases with density at or below the median of 20%, sensitivity was 82%, compared with 75% in those with density above the median. The presence of one or more false CAD prompts was suggestively but not significantly more likely in controls than cases (87% vs. 80%, P = 0.06). The number of false prompts was significantly higher in controls (average 3.6 vs. 2.6, P <0.001). False prompts were significantly less likely with higher density (P = 0.008). False prompts were present in 86% of cases and controls with density at or below the median, and in 81% of those with density above the median.


Increased breast density is significantly associated with higher specificity of CAD, and there is suggestive evidence that it is also associated with lower sensitivity.

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