Reproducibility of BI-RADS breast density measures among community radiologists: A prospective cohort study

Mary C. Spayne, Charlotte C. Gard, Joan Skelly, Diana L Miglioretti, Pamela M. Vacek, Berta M. Geller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Using data from the Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance System (VBCSS), we studied the reproducibility of Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) breast density among community radiologists interpreting mammograms in a cohort of 11,755 postmenopausal women. Radiologists interpreting two or more film-screen screening or bilateral diagnostic mammograms for the same woman within a 3- to 24-month period during 1996-2006 were eligible. We observed moderate-to-substantial overall intra-rater agreement for use of BI-RADS breast density in clinical practice, with an overall intra-radiologist percent agreement of 77.2% (95% confidence interval (CI), 74.5-79.5%), an overall simple kappa of 0.58 (95% CI, 0.55-0.61), and an overall weighted kappa of 0.70 (95% CI, 0.68-0.73). Agreement exhibited by individual radiologists varied widely, with intra-radiologist percent agreement ranging from 62.1% to 87.4% and simple kappa ranging from 0.19 to 0.69 across individual radiologists. Our findings underscore the need for additional evaluation of the BI-RADS breast density categorization system in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-333
Number of pages8
JournalBreast Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • BI-RADS breast density
  • clinical practice
  • intra-radiologist agreement
  • mammography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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