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Sao Paulo Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 1516-3180


IARED, Wagner et al. Comparative evaluation of digital mammography and film mammography: systematic review and meta-analysis. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2011, vol.129, n.4, pp.250-260. ISSN 1516-3180.

CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: Mammography is the best method for breast-cancer screening and is capable of reducing mortality rates. Studies that have assessed the clinical impact of mammography have been carried out using film mammography. Digital mammography has been proposed as a substitute for film mammography given the benefits inherent to digital technology. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of digital and film mammography. DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis. METHOD: The Medline, Scopus, Embase and Lilacs databases were searched looking for paired studies, cohorts and randomized controlled trials published up to 2009 that compared the performance of digital and film mammography, with regard to cancer detection, recall rates and tumor characteristics. The reference lists of included studies were checked for any relevant citations. RESULTS: A total of 11 studies involving 190,322 digital and 638,348 film mammography images were included. The cancer detection rates were significantly higher for digital mammography than for film mammography (risk relative, RR = 1.17; 95% confidence interval, CI = 1.06-1.29; I² = 19%). The advantage of digital mammography seemed greatest among patients between 50 and 60 years of age. There were no significant differences between the two methods regarding patient recall rates or the characteristics of the tumors detected. CONCLUSION: The cancer detection rates using digital mammography are slightly higher than the rates using film mammography. There are no significant differences in recall rates between film and digital mammography. The characteristics of the tumors are similar in patients undergoing the two methods.

Keywords : Mammography; Breast neoplasms; Mass screening; Review [Publication type]; Meta-analysis [Publication type].

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