Radiology Trainee Performance in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis: Relationship Between Difficulty and Error-Making Patterns.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to better understand the relationship between digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) difficulty and radiology trainee performance. METHODS: Twenty-seven radiology residents and fellows and three expert breast imagers reviewed 60 DBT studies consisting of unilateral craniocaudal and medial lateral oblique views. Trainees had no prior DBT experience. All readers provided difficulty ratings and final BI-RADS(®) scores. Expert breast imager consensus interpretations were used to determine the ground truth. Trainee sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) were calculated for low- and high-difficulty subsets of cases as assessed by each trainee him or herself (self-assessed difficulty) and consensus expert-assessed difficulty. RESULTS: For self-assessed difficulty, the trainee AUC was 0.696 for high-difficulty and 0.704 for low-difficulty cases (P = .753). Trainee sensitivity was 0.776 for high-difficulty and 0.538 for low-difficulty cases (P < .001). Trainee specificity was 0.558 for high-difficulty and 0.810 for low-difficulty cases (P < .001). For expert-assessed difficulty, the trainee AUC was 0.645 for high-difficulty and 0.816 for low-difficulty cases (P < .001). Trainee sensitivity was 0.612 for high-difficulty and .784 for low-difficulty cases (P < .001). Trainee specificity was 0.654 for high-difficulty and 0.765 for low-difficulty cases (P = .021). CONCLUSIONS: Cases deemed difficult by experts were associated with decreases in trainee AUC, sensitivity, and specificity. In contrast, for self-assessed more difficult cases, the trainee AUC was unchanged because of increased sensitivity and compensatory decreased specificity. Educators should incorporate these findings when developing educational materials to teach interpretation of DBT.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Grimm, LJ; Zhang, J; Lo, JY; Johnson, KS; Ghate, SV; Walsh, R; Mazurowski, MA

Published Date

  • February 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 198 - 202

PubMed ID

  • 26577878

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-349X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jacr.2015.09.025


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States