Early detection of breast cancers affects the 5-year recurrence rates and treatment options for diagnosed patients, and consequently, many countries have instituted nationwide screening programs. This study compared the performance of expert radiologists from Australia and the United States in detection of breast cancer. Forty-one radiologists, 21 from Australia and 20 from the United States, reviewed 30 mammographic cases containing two-view mammograms. Twenty cases had abnormal findings and 10 cases had normal findings. Radiologists were asked to locate malignancies and assign a level of confidence. A jackknife free-response receiver operating characteristic, figure of merit (JAFROC, FOM), inferred receiver operating characteristic, area under curve (ROC, AUC), specificity, sensitivity, and location sensitivity were calculated using Ziltron software and JAFROC v4.1. A Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare the performance of Australian and U.S. radiologists. The results showed that when experience and the number of mammograms read per year were taken into account, the Australian radiologists sampled showed significantly higher sensitivity and location sensitivity (p≤0.001). JAFROC (FOM) and inferred ROC (AUC) analysis showed no difference between the overall performance of the two countries. ROC (AUC) and location sensitivity were higher for the Australian radiologists who read the most cases per year.
The aim of current work was to compare the performance of radiologists that read a higher number of cases to those that read a lower number, as well as examine the effect of number of years of experience on performance. This study compares Australian and USA radiologist with differing levels of experience when reading mammograms. Thirty mammographic cases were presented to 41 radiologists, 21 from Australia and 20 from the USA. Readers were asked to locate and visualize cancer and assign a mark-rating pair with confidence levels from 1 to 5. A jackknife free-response receiver operating characteristic (JAFROC), inferred receiver operating characteristic (ROC), sensitivity, specificity and location sensitivity were calculated. A Mann-Whitney test was used to compare the performance of Australian and USA radiologists using SPSS software. The results showed that the USA radiologists sampled had more years of experience (p≤0.01) but read less mammograms per year (p≤0.03). Significantly higher sensitivity and location sensitivity (p≤ 0.001) were found for the Australia radiologists when experience and the number of mammograms read per year were taken into account. There were no differences between the two countries in overall performance measured by JAFROC and inferred ROC. For the most experienced radiologists within the Australian sample experienced ROC and location sensitivity were higher when compared to the least experienced. The increased number of years experience of the USA radiologists did not result in an increase in any performance metrics. The number of cases per year is a better predictor of improved diagnostic performance.