28 November 2021


Larsen M, Aglen CF, Hoff SR, Lund-Hanssen H, Nygard J, Hofvind SS

Artificial Intelligence as a support to the radiologists’ screen reading of mammograms – A retrospective study

To explore the performance of an artificial intelligence (AI)-system on cancer detection in a population based screening program using independent double reading with consensus, and describe histopathological characteristics of the cancers detected.

We included data from 65,983 screening examinations including 421 screen-detected and 114 interval cancers, resulting in a program sensitivity of 79% (421/535). The screening examinations were performed as a part of the regular screening setting in two counties in BreastScreen Norway, between 2014 and 2018. We retrospectively processed the mammograms using an AI-system (Transpara, ScreenPoint Medical) which gives each examination a score from 1 to 10. We present the number of breast cancers that were given a threshold value of 9.01 (score=10) and 9.63 by the AI-system. The latter corresponded to a recall rate of 3.5%, which represent the average for the population studied. Median tumor diameter and the proportion of lymph node positive tumors (LN+) were described for cancers with a score of 10 and a score below 10.

Transpara scored 10 for 81% (341/421) of the screen-detected and 41% (47/114) of the interval cancers. Using a threshold of 9.63, 70% (294/421) of the screen-detected and 20% (23/114) of the interval cancers were marked. Screen-detected cancers with a Transpara score of 10 had a median tumor diameter of 13mm (IQR: 9-20) and 18% were LN+, while those with a score below 10 had a median diameter of 10mm (IQR: 7-18) and 12% were LN+. Interval cancers with a Transpara score of 10 had a median tumor diameter of 18m (IQR: 13-25) while those with a score below 10 were 15mm (IQR: 10-20).

Transpara marks a substantial number of the screen-detected and interval cancer and could potentially aid radiologists in their screen-reading and increase the sensitivity of the screening program.

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