Developed at MGH, digital tomosynthesis may better identify malignant lesions
A new approach to mammography, developed by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), holds the potential for greatly improving the detection of breast lesions and the ability to predict whether they are benign or malignant. In a presentation earlier this month at the scientific assembly of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Elizabeth Rafferty, MD, of the MGH Breast Imaging Service described initial results of a study comparing the new technique, called digital tomosynthesis, to standard mammography. Among the new techniques advantages, she explains, is a significant reduction in false positive test results.
"The overlap of breast structures presents a major challenge for radiologists, both because these tissues can hide cancers and because they produce shadows which mimic a lesion on conventional mammography," Rafferty says. "These false positive studies account for almost 25 percent of the instances when women are recalled for additional imaging from their screening mammograms. By eliminating this structure overlap, tomosynthesis prevents virtually all of these unnecessary callbacks, along with the anxiety they create."
Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
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