Large mammographic databases are needed for teaching residents and for developing automated computer analysis of mammograms. A collection of digital mammograms would facilitate uniformity in education and would allow for meaningful comparisons of different computerized techniques. In the future, databases will consist of full-field digital mammograms; currently, digitized mammograms are being used. A number of small databases are available, and several large databases (1,000 or more cases) are being developed. This review describes the requirements of the images comprising the database (e.g., spatial resolution), the requirements of an ideal database (e.g., the types of images to include, size, organization), and the characteristics of the existing and planned databases.
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