Med Tech: Digital mammography doesn't improve detection rates

Full field digital mammography offers no clear cut advantages over traditional x-ray technology, a new report finds. Researchers at the ECRI Health Systems group found no statistically significant differences in detection rates between the two technologies in a comparison. But that may not prevent hospitals from investing in new systems. For one thing, the report notes, digital mammography offers "marginally lower" levels of radiation exposure for patients. For another, research is forthcoming which may offer more concrete evidence of benefits, including a large trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.

"The studies that have been done so far haven't provided a slam dunk," said Robert Maliff, the associate director of Health Systems at ECRI. Nonetheless, Maliff feels the trend among providers is clearly towards digital mammography.

- see this press release from Health Behavior News Service