News | July 28, 2008

Breast CT Scanners Promise Painless Alternative to Mammography

July 29, 2008 - The discomfort of a mammogram can drive some women to avoid the valuable screening, occasionally with dire consequences.

Now a new procedure, dedicated breast computed tomography (CT), promises to take the pain out of breast cancer detection.

In the cone beam breast CT scanner, which was first developed at the University of California, Davis, a woman lies face down on a special table with one breast suspended through an opening. A CT scanner rotates around the breast, collecting data that are reconstructed into a three-dimensional image. The total dose of radiation is the same as in a conventional mammogram.

Since 2004, the UC Davis researchers, led by John M. Boone, professor and vice chair of radiology and professor of biomedical engineering, have scanned 160 women with their prototype scanner. In early 2008, the researchers began operating a second prototype device, into which the researchers have incorporated a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner. The PET scanner tracks the metabolic activity of a tumor, if present, so the hybrid CT/PET breast scanner would allow clinicians to, among other uses, precisely localize and monitor the response of a tumor to chemotherapy, determine the extent (or staging) of tumors, and help guide radiologists conducting biopsies.

The clinical trials show that the scanner "is better mammography for mass detection," Boone says, while "offering improved comfort to the patient and a better three-dimensional understanding of pathological lesions when they are present." The scanner, however, is less efficient than regular mammography at detecting the tiny clusters of calcium (or microcalcifications) that can sometimes signal breast cancer. This is because it uses X rays at higher energies than do mammograms, reducing the contrast of the images and the ability to distinguish the calcium clusters. "Thus, we are not making the claim that breast CT is "better" than mammography-yet," Boone says.

For more information: www.aapm.org

Source: American Association of Physicists in Medicine

Related Content

Study Shows Biomarker Panel Boosts Lung Cancer Risk Assessment for Smokers
News | Lung Cancer | July 16, 2018
A four-protein biomarker blood test improves lung cancer risk assessment over existing guidelines that rely solely upon...
iSchemaView Brings RAPID Imaging Platform to Australia and New Zealand
News | Stroke | July 13, 2018
iSchemaView has signed Diagnostic Imaging Australia (DIA) to be the exclusive distributor for the RAPID cerebrovascular...
Zebra Medical Vision Announces FDA 510(k) Clearance of Coronary Calcium Algorithm
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 12, 2018
Zebra Medical Vision has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Coronary...
IAC Awards First CT Accreditation for a Mobile Stroke Unit
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 09, 2018
The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) recently recognized the University of Tennessee Health Science Center...
HeartFlow Announces New Commercial Coverage With UnitedHealthcare
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 03, 2018
HeartFlow Inc. announced that UnitedHealthcare now covers the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis, extending access to their 45...
Peter Juodka, RT(CT) operates the 16-slice Siemens Somatom Scope CT scanner in the mobile stroke unit to assess stroke patients immediately at the call site.

Peter Juodka, RT(CT) operates the 16-slice Siemens Somatom Scope CT scanner in the mobile stroke unit to assess stroke patients immediately at the call site.

Feature | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 03, 2018 | By Jeff Zagoudis
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for more than 140,000 deaths in some of
Neusoft Medical Systems USA Introducing NeuViz 16 Essence CT at AHRA 2018
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | June 27, 2018
At the 2018 Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) Annual Meeting, July 22-25 in Orlando, Fla., Neusoft...
Smoking and Diabetes Linked to Brain Calcifications
News | Neuro Imaging | June 26, 2018
People who smoke or have diabetes may be at increased risk of calcifications in a region of the brain crucial to memory...
Post-Mortem CT Angiography Illuminates Causes of Death
News | CT Angiography (CTA) | June 25, 2018
Computed tomography (CT) angiography is a useful adjunct to autopsy that is likely to increase the quality of post-...
Overlay Init