Digital mammography: More microcalcifications, more columnar cell lesions without atypia

Anoek H J Verschuur-Maes, Carla H. Van Gils, Maurice A A J Van Den Bosch, Peter C. De Bruin, Paul J. Van Diest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The incidence of columnar cell lesions in breast core needle biopsies since full-field digital mammography in comparison with screen-filmed mammography was analyzed. As tiny microcalcifications characterize columnar cell lesions at mammography, we hypothesized that more columnar cell lesions are diagnosed since full-field digital mammography due to its higher sensitivity for microcalcifications. In all, 3437 breast core needle biopsies performed in three hospitals and resulting from in total 55 159 mammographies were revised: 1424 taken in the screen-filmed mammography and 2013 in the full-field digital mammography period. Between the screen-filmed mammography and full-field digital mammography periods, we compared the proportion of mammographies that led to core needle biopsies, the mammographic indication for core needle biopsies (density, microcalcifications, or both) and the proportion of columnar cell lesions with or without atypia. The columnar cell lesions were graded according to Schnitt, and we included atypical ductal hyperplasia arising in the context of columnar cell lesions. Proportions were compared using x 2 tests and prevalence ratios were adjusted for age and hospital. We found that more core needle biopsies per mammogram were taken in the full-field digital mammography period (7.6%) compared with the screen-filmed mammography period (5.0%, P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1191-1197
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast
  • columnar cell lesions
  • core needle biopsy
  • digital mammography
  • flat epithelial atypia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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