External validation of a mammographic texture marker for breast cancer risk in a case–control study

Wang, Chao, Brentnall, Adam R., Mainprize, James, Yaffe, Martin, Cuzick, Jack and Harvey, Jennifer A. (2020) External validation of a mammographic texture marker for breast cancer risk in a case–control study. Journal of Medical Imaging, 7(1), 014003. ISSN (online) 2329-4302


Purpose: The pattern of dense tissue on a mammogram appears to provide additional information than overall density for risk assessment, but there has been little consistency in measures of texture identified. The purpose of this study is thus to validate a mammographic texture feature developed from a previous study in a new setting. Approach: A case–control study (316 invasive cases and 1339 controls) of women in Virginia, USA was used to validate a mammographic texture feature (MMTEXT) derived in a independent previous study. Analysis of predictive ability was adjusted for age, demographic factors, questionnaire risk factors (combined through the Tyrer-Cuzick model), and optionally BI-RADS breast density. Odds ratios per interquartile range (IQ-OR) in controls were estimated. Subgroup analysis assessed heterogeneity by mode of cancer detection (94 not detected by mammography). Results: MMTEXT was not a significant risk factor at 0.05 level after adjusting for classical risk factors (IQ-OR  =  1.16, 95%CI 0.92 to 1.46), nor after further adjustment for BI-RADS density (IQ-OR  =  0.92, 95%CI 0.76 to 1.10). There was weak evidence that MMTEXT was more predictive for cancers that were not detected by mammography (unadjusted for density: IQ-OR  =  1.46, 95%CI 0.99 to 2.15 versus 1.03, 95%CI 0.79 to 1.35, Phet 0.10; adjusted for density: IQ-OR  =  1.11, 95%CI 0.70 to 1.77 versus 0.76, 95%CI 0.55 to 1.05, Phet 0.21). Conclusions: MMTEXT is unlikely to be a useful imaging marker for invasive breast cancer risk assessment in women attending mammography screening. Future studies may benefit from a larger sample size to confirm this as well as developing and validating other measures of risk. This negative finding demonstrates the importance of external validation.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page