Differences in mammography recall rate between 2 centers, study finds

July 24, 2013, Lifespan

A new study at Rhode Island Hospital has found that academic medical centers have higher rates of recall following mammography than community radiology centers. The recall rate is the frequency at which a radiologist interprets an examination as positive and the patient is instructed to return for more testing. The study is published online in advance of print in the journal Radiology.

"Recalling a patient for a mammogram has an impact on both the patient, and on the hospital," said lead researcher and author Ana Lourenco, M.D., a radiologist at Rhode Island Hospital. "Hearing that they need to return for another mammogram can cause a great deal of anxiety for patients. Additionally, the federal government uses recall rates as a quality indicator for the hospital or outpatient center in order to calculate Medicare payments."

The study found that the patient population at each of the sites contributed significantly to the rates of recall, which were 8.6 percent and 6.9 percent for the hospital and community practice, respectively. The patients who received their mammogram at the hospital were typically younger – average age 56 at the hospital and 63 at the community practice – and younger patients have a higher rate of recall. The hospital patients also had a higher incidence of previous and biopsies, which can complicate the interpretation of the images.

The study followed five radiologists who worked at both sites, and compared the rates of recall for each site. The only major systemic difference between the two sites is the occasional presence of a medical resident/trainee at the site.

"The difference in recall rates does not indicate the quality of the centers," Lourenco said. "Demographics such as age and prior procedures play a very large role in the rate of recall, and it's important that patients know that a recall is not suggestive of a definitive diagnosis. While radiologists aim to keep recall rates down, they also must put the patient's health first. If that means conducting a second mammogram to be confident about the results, then they will call the patient back in."

Lourenco cautions that recall rates are typically affected by factors out of the radiologist's control, and therefore cannot determine the quality of a radiologist or an institution.

Explore further: Tomosynthesis ups accuracy of digital mammography

Related Stories

Tomosynthesis ups accuracy of digital mammography

January 4, 2013
(HealthDay)—Using a combination of tomosynthesis, which produces a three-dimensional reconstruction of the breast, with digital mammography increases radiologists' diagnostic accuracy and significantly lowers the number ...

Novel breast screening technology increases diagnostic accuracy

November 20, 2012
The addition of three-dimensional breast imaging—a technology called tomosynthesis—to standard digital mammography significantly increases radiologists' diagnostic accuracy while reducing false positive recall rates, ...

Digital breast tomosynthesis cuts recall rates by 40 percent

May 3, 2012
Adding digital breast tomosynthesis to 2D mammography screening results in a 40% reduction in patient recall rates compared to routine screening mammography alone, a new study shows.

Mammogram interpretation agreement varies by finding

November 9, 2012
(HealthDay)—Agreement between community-based radiologists and an expert radiology panel for interpreting mammograms is high for cancer cases and obvious findings, but is low for subtle and asymmetric lesions, calcifications, ...

Mass. pharmacy recalling some compounded products

March 25, 2013
(AP)—A Massachusetts pharmacy has issued a voluntary recall of some sterile compounding products.

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.