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Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of practical ultrasound workshops for the acquisition and consolidation of conceptual learning about the basic physics and semiology of ultrasonography aimed at third-year medical school students doing the physical examination module of their studies.
Material and methods: We carried out practical ultrasound workshops with two groups of 177 and 175 students in two consecutive academic years. All students had taken a class in basic radiology in the previous year. Students examined each other with ultrasonography under instructors' supervision in a two-hour session. Before and after the workshop, students did a seven-question multiple-choice test about basic semiology and answered two questions evaluating their degree of confidence in interpreting ultrasonographic images and handling the ultrasound scanner on a scale from 1 to 10.
Results: No significant differences were found between the scores obtained in the two groups. Overall, the mean score on the multiple-choice test improved from 59.71% on the initial assessment to 88.29% on the post-workshop assessment (p <0.01). Confidence in interpreting images improved from 3.39/10 to 6.28/10 (p <0.01), and confidence in handling the equipment improved from 3.73/10 to 6.51/10 (p <0.01).
Conclusion: Practical workshops were useful for learning basic concepts about ultrasound imaging, allowing students to significantly improve their scores on the multiple-choice test. Students had a low level of confidence in their ability to interpret ultrasound images and handle the equipment before starting the workshop, but their confidence improved significantly after completing the workshop.
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Background Recently, a new mammography system to perform contrast-enhanced mammography has become available in the market. For the high-energy acquisition, it uses a titanium filter instead of a copper one, reducing the tube load while maintaining image quality. Purpose To retrospectively evaluate the accuracy of contrast-enhanced mammography with a titanium filter (TiCEM) in three readers with different grades of experience. Material and Methods IRB-approved retrospective multicentric lesion by lesion study with 200 lesions, all of them initially classified as BI-RADS categories 0/3/4/5 on mammography and/or ultrasound and with pathological confirmation, in 135 patients. Three readers with different levels of experience (expert, resident, intermediate) blinded to the final diagnosis, retrospectively evaluated the low-energy (LE) images and the combination of LE and recombined (subtracted) images and classified the lesions according to the BI-RADS categories. Reader 1 also categorized the breast density. ROC curves were performed for each reader. Results Out of the 200 lesions, 82 were benign and 118 malignant (20 DCIS, 10 ILC, 88 IDC). The AUCs of LE versus TiCEM for were: Reader 1: 0.7 vs. 0.88, P < 0.001; Reader 2: 0.63 vs. 0.83, P < 0.001; and Reader 3: 0.63 vs. 0.84, P < 0.001. For the three readers, the AUCs of LE versus TiCEM were significantly superior in both dense and non-dense breasts (P < 0.001). Comparing the AUC of LE for Reader 1 (expert) versus the AUC of TiCEM for Reader 2 (resident) there were significant differences (0.7 vs. 0.83, P < 0.001). Conclusion The accuracy of TiCEM was significantly better for all the readers, in both dense and non-dense breasts. The accuracy of a resident reading a TiCEM study was better than the accuracy of an expert radiologist reading LE images.