Double Reading in Breast Cancer Screening: Cohort Evaluation in the CO-OPS Trial.

23 Mar 2018

Purpose To investigate the effect of double readings by a second radiologist on recall rates, cancer detection, and characteristics of cancers detected in the National Health Service Breast Screening Program in England. Materials and Methods In this retrospective analysis, 805 206 women were evaluated through screening and diagnostic test results by extracting 1 year of routine data from 33 English breast screening centers. Centers used double reading of digital mammograms, with arbitration if there were discrepant interpretations. Information on reader decisions, with results of follow-up tests, were used to explore the effect of the second reader. The statistical tests used were the test for equality of proportions, the χ2 test for independence, and the t test. Results The first reader recalled 4.76% of women (38 295 of 805 206 women; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.71%, 4.80%). Two readers recalled 6.19% of women in total (49 857 of 805 206 women; 95% CI: 6.14%, 6.24%), but arbitration of discordant readings reduced the recall rate to 4.08% (32 863 of 805 206 women; 95% CI: 4.04%, 4.12%; P < .001). A total of 7055 cancers were detected, of which 627 (8.89%; 95% CI: 8.22%, 9.55%; P < .001) were detected by the second reader only. These additional cancers were more likely to be ductal carcinoma in situ (30.5% [183 of 600] vs 22.0% [1344 of 6114]; P < .001), and additional invasive cancers were smaller (mean size, 14.2 vs 16.7 mm; P < .001), had fewer involved nodes, and were likely to be lower grade. Conclusion Double reading with arbitration reduces recall and increases cancer detection compared with single reading. Cancers detected only by the second reader were smaller, of lower grade, and had less nodal involvement. © RSNA, 2018.