Detection of breast cancer with mammography: Effect of an artificial intelligence support system

Alejandro Rodríguez-Ruiz, Elizabeth Krupinski, Jan Jurre Mordang, Kathy Schilling, Sylvia H. Heywang-Köbrunner, Ioannis Sechopoulos, Ritse M. Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

302 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare breast cancer detection performance of radiologists reading mammographic examinations unaided versus supported by an artificial intelligence (AI) system. Materials and Methods: An enriched retrospective, fully crossed, multireader, multicase, HIPAA-compliant study was performed. Screening digital mammographic examinations from 240 women (median age, 62 years; range, 39–89 years) performed between 2013 and 2017 were included. The 240 examinations (100 showing cancers, 40 leading to false-positive recalls, 100 normal) were interpreted by 14 Mammography Quality Standards Act–qualified radiologists, once with and once without AI support. The readers provided a Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System score and probability of malignancy. AI support provided radiologists with interactive decision support (clicking on a breast region yields a local cancer likelihood score), traditional lesion markers for computer-detected abnormalities, and an examination-based cancer likelihood score. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), specificity and sensitivity, and reading time were compared between conditions by using mixed-models analysis dof variance and generalized linear models for multiple repeated measurements. Results: On average, the AUC was higher with AI support than with unaided reading (0.89 vs 0.87, respectively; P = .002). Sensitivity increased with AI support (86% [86 of 100] vs 83% [83 of 100]; P = .046), whereas specificity trended toward improvement (79% [111 of 140]) vs 77% [108 of 140]; P = .06). Reading time per case was similar (unaided, 146 seconds; supported by AI, 149 seconds; P = .15). The AUC with the AI system alone was similar to the average AUC of the radiologists (0.89 vs 0.87). Conclusion: Radiologists improved their cancer detection at mammography when using an artificial intelligence system for support, without requiring additional reading time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-314
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Detection of breast cancer with mammography: Effect of an artificial intelligence support system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this