A mammography image set for research purposes using BI-RADS density classification

Claire Mercer, Peter Hogg, Judith Kelly, Rita Borgen, Sara Rachael Millington, Beverley Hilton, David Enion, Patsy Whelehan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Purpose Breast density categorization consistency is important when performing research, and minimization of interoperator and intraoperator variability is essential. This research aimed to validate a set of mammography images for visual breast density estimation to achieve consistency in future research projects and to determine observer performance.Methods Using the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) as the visual grading scale, 50 mammography images were scored for density grade by 8 observers. Results Six of 8 observers achieved near-complete intraobserver agreement (kappa > 0.81). Strong agreement among observers (kappa = 0.61–0.8) was found in 10 of 28 paired observation episodes on the first iteration and 12 of 28 on the second. No observers demonstrated a delta variance above 1. Fleiss’ kappa was used to evaluate concordance among all observers on the first and second iterations (first iteration, 0.64; second iteration, 0.56).Discussion This research illustrates the difficulties of comparing observer visual performance scores because differences can exist when studies are repeated by and among individuals.Conclusion We confirmed that the 50 images were suitable for research purposes. Some variability existed among observers; however, overall density classification agreement was strong. Future research should include repeating this study with digitally acquired images.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)609-613
    Number of pages5
    JournalRadiologic Technology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


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