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Digital tomosynthesis creates a 3D picture of the breast using X-rays

Tomosynthesis - Dense Breast Tissue, Dense Breasts

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Research has proven can detect early, when it’s still curable, but they aren't perfect tests. For instance, some women who have mammograms are called back for additional testing because the images aren’t completely clear, especially in dense breast tissue. Ongoing research is discovering a variety of other tools for detection and one new technology, called tomosynthesis, is helping doctors see more clearly into breast tissue. [TRT 2:22]

Can tomosynthesis 3D mammography be used for women with dense breast tissue

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Tomosynthesis: Breast cancer screening method

What is 3D Mammography

Hologic also is working to incorporate tomosynthesis into other aspects of breast cancer detection. Marshall says the company recently released a tomosynthesis biopsy package that allows radiologists to use the same modality for detection of abnormalities and localization for biopsy. He says this enhancement is especially useful for lesions visible only on 3D images.

Breast imaging experts agree that with changes in technology will come more studies to fine-tune the effectiveness of tomosynthesis in breast cancer screening and diagnosis as well as who may best benefit from this technology. Geisel says that more studies like those conducted at Yale also will increase awareness of this technology. “With time and more studies, DBT will become the norm,” she says.

Tomosynthesis: A New Era in Breast Imaging

Dose Reduction
Geisel notes that another potential drawback of combining 2D and 3D breast imaging is the increased radiation dose. Conducting these together means twice the dose, she says. This is more of an issue in the United States, where breast cancer screening exams are done every year, than in Europe, where screenings are done every two years, she adds.

Zuley is Professor of Radiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, as well as Vice Chair, Quality and Strategic Development and Medical Director of Breast Imaging at Magee-Women’s Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

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Sumkin is Professor and Chair of The Department of Radiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Endowed Chair of Women’s Imaging at Magee-Women’s Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medical Center.

3D Breast Tomosynthesis - Advanced Radiology Consultants

For some hospitals and breast imaging facilities, the addition of such new technology isn’t as easy. With no reimbursement for DBT, the cost of purchasing these systems could become “an obstacle to adoption,” Geisel says. There’s also the issue of how to incorporate this process into a practice, for example, determining how to handle workflow if the practice can afford only one machine.

See a video on breast tomosynthesis

“Two years ago, there was a lot of skepticism about tomosynthesis,” Destounis says. “There were questions about where this would fit in to the breast screening and diagnosis process. It was seen as expensive, with no reimbursement and an increase in radiation.”

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) System

Increasing Confidence
In 2011, Elizabeth Wende Breast Care in Rochester, New York, was one of several clinical sites for Dimensions 3D. Attending radiologist Stamatia Destounis, MD, FACR, says since that time, the facility has added a second unit and is hoping to add a third because of the patient volume, particularly those at high risk of breast cancer. She says that with increased research and word of mouth among the patient population, DBT has become a frequent option at her facility.

Selenia Dimensions mammography system | Hologic

This site is intended for healthcare professionals to provide information on breast tomosynthesis technology and Hologic’s Selenia Dimensions system.

Questions like these inspired Hologic ..

The proven effectiveness of Hologic’s latest breast imaging innovation offers radiologists the confidence to significantly reduce recall rates3-4. Breast tomosynthesis is set to change the paradigm of breast cancer detection. Learn more about its full potential.

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