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Proceedings Paper

Varying performance in mammographic interpretation across two countries: Do results indicate reader or population variances?
Author(s): BaoLin P. Soh; Warwick B. Lee; Jill Wong; Llewellyn Sim; Stephen L. Hillis; Kriscia A. Tapia; Patrick C. Brennan
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Paper Abstract

Aim: To compare the performance of Australian and Singapore breast readers interpreting a single test-set that consisted of mammographic examinations collected from the Australian population. Background: In the teleradiology era, breast readers are interpreting mammographic examinations from different populations. The question arises whether two groups of readers with similar training backgrounds, demonstrate the same level of performance when presented with a population familiar only to one of the groups. Methods: Fifty-three Australian and 15 Singaporean breast radiologists participated in this study. All radiologists were trained in mammogram interpretation and had a median of 9 and 15 years of experience in reading mammograms respectively. Each reader interpreted the same BREAST test-set consisting of sixty de-identified mammographic examinations arising from an Australian population. Performance parameters including JAFROC, ROC, case sensitivity as well as specificity were compared between Australian and Singaporean readers using a Mann Whitney U test. Results: A significant difference (P=0.036) was demonstrated between the JAFROC scores of the Australian and Singaporean breast radiologists. No other significant differences were observed. Conclusion: JAFROC scores for Australian radiologists were higher than those obtained by the Singaporean counterparts. Whilst it is tempting to suggest this is down to reader expertise, this may be a simplistic explanation considering the very similar training and audit backgrounds of the two populations of radiologists. The influence of reading images that are different from those that radiologists normally encounter cannot be ruled out and requires further investigation, particularly in the light of increasing international outsourcing of radiologic reporting.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 March 2016
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9787, Medical Imaging 2016: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 97870X (24 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2217654
Show Author Affiliations
BaoLin P. Soh, Singapore General Hospital (Singapore)
Warwick B. Lee, BreastScreen NSW LHD (Australia)
Jill Wong, National Cancer Ctr. of Singapore (Singapore)
Llewellyn Sim, Singapore General Hospital (Singapore)
Stephen L. Hillis, The Univ. of Iowa (United States)
Kriscia A. Tapia, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Patrick C. Brennan, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9787:
Medical Imaging 2016: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
Craig K. Abbey; Matthew A. Kupinski, Editor(s)

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