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Performance of Screening Ultrasonography as an Adjunct to Screening Mammography in Women Across the Spectrum of Breast Cancer Risk.

Importance: Whole-breast ultrasonography has been advocated to supplement screening mammography to improve outcomes in women with dense breasts.

Objective: To determine the performance of screening mammography plus screening ultrasonography compared with screening mammography alone in community practice.

Design, Setting, and Participants: Observational cohort study. Two Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium registries provided prospectively collected data on screening mammography with vs without same-day breast ultrasonography from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2013. The dates of analysis were March 2014 to December 2018. A total of 6081 screening mammography plus same-day screening ultrasonography examinations in 3386 women were propensity score matched 1:5 to 30 062 screening mammograms without screening ultrasonography in 15 176 women from a sample of 113 293 mammograms. Exclusion criteria included a personal history of breast cancer and self-reported breast symptoms.

Exposures: Screening mammography with vs without screening ultrasonography.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Cancer detection rate and rates of interval cancer, false-positive biopsy recommendation, short-interval follow-up, and positive predictive value of biopsy recommendation were estimated and compared using log binomial regression.

Results: Screening mammography with vs without ultrasonography examinations was performed more often in women with dense breasts (74.3% [n = 4317 of 5810] vs 35.9% [n = 39 928 of 111 306] in the overall sample), in women who were younger than 50 years (49.7% [n = 3022 of 6081] vs 31.7% [n = 16 897 of 112 462]), and in women with a family history of breast cancer (42.9% [n = 2595 of 6055] vs 15.0% [n = 16 897 of 112 462]). While 21.4% (n = 1154 of 5392) of screening ultrasonography examinations were performed in women with high or very high (≥2.50%) Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium 5-year risk scores, 53.6% (n = 2889 of 5392) had low or average (<1.67%) risk. Comparing mammography plus ultrasonography with mammography alone, the cancer detection rate was similar at 5.4 vs 5.5 per 1000 screens (adjusted relative risk [RR], 1.14; 95% CI, 0.76-1.68), as were interval cancer rates at 1.5 vs 1.9 per 1000 screens (RR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.33-1.37). The false-positive biopsy rates were significantly higher at 52.0 vs 22.2 per 1000 screens (RR, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.93-2.58), as was short-interval follow-up at 3.9% vs 1.1% (RR, 3.10; 95% CI, 2.60-3.70). The positive predictive value of biopsy recommendation was significantly lower at 9.5% vs 21.4% (RR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.35-0.71).

Conclusions and Relevance: In a relatively young population of women at low, intermediate, and high breast cancer risk, these results suggest that the benefits of supplemental ultrasonography screening may not outweigh associated harms.

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