Diagnostic workup and costs of a single supplemental molecular breast imaging screen of mammographically dense breasts

Carrie B. Hruska, Amy Lynn Conners, Katie N. Jones, Michael K. O'Connor, James P. Moriarty, Judy C. Boughey, Deborah J. Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to examine additional diagnostic workup and costs generated by addition of a single molecular breast imaging (MBI) examination to screening mammography for women with dense breasts. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Women with mammographically dense breasts presenting for screening mammography underwent adjunct MBI performed with 300 MBq 99mTc-sestamibi and a direct-conversion cadmium-zinc-telluride dual-head gamma camera. All subsequent imaging tests and biopsies were tracked for a minimum of 1 year. The positive predictive value of biopsies performed (PPV3), benign biopsy rate, cost per patient screened, and cost per cancer detected were determined. RESULTS. A total of 1651 women enrolled in the study. Among the 1585 participants with complete reference standard, screening mammography alone prompted diagnostic workup of 175 (11.0%) patients and biopsy of 20 (1.3%) and yielded five malignancies (PPV3, 25%). Results of combined screening mammography plus MBI prompted diagnostic workup of 279 patients (17.6%) and biopsy of 67 (4.2%) and yielded 19 malignancies (PPV3, 28.4%). The benign biopsy rates were 0.9% (15 of 1585) for screening mammography alone and 3.0% (48 of 1585) for the combination (p < 0.001). The addition of MBI increased the cost per patient screened from 176 for mammography alone to 571 for the combination. However, cost per cancer detected was lower for the combination (47,597) than for mammography alone (55,851). CONCLUSION. The addition of MBI to screening mammography of women with dense breasts increased the overall costs and benign biopsy rate but also increased the cancer detection rate, which resulted in a lower cost per cancer detected than with screening mammography alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1345-1353
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Benign biopsy rate
  • Breast density
  • Costs
  • Molecular breast imaging
  • Supplemental screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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