Aims and objectives
Women with dense breasts have an increased risk of developing breast cancer and of missed breast cancers on mammography (MG) [1-5].
Several states in the USA have passed a breast density notification law,
which requires radiologists to inform a woman if dense breast tissue is found by MG so that she can be offered additional screening with ultrasound (US) or magnetic resonance imaging .
Although the benefits of supplemental screening for dense breasts in terms of mortality or morbidity reduction are still not proven ,...
Methods and materials
The ACR-MG density (a=fatty to d=extremely dense) and SoS-US were assessed in the retromamillary,
inner and outer segments of 106 women by two radiographers.
A conventional US system was used for SoS-US.
A reflector served as timing reference for US signals transmitted through the breasts.
Four blinded readers assessed average SoS (m/s),
ΔSoS (segment-variation SoS; m/s) and the ACR-MG density.
The highest SoS and ΔSoS values of the three segments were used for the MG-ACR whole breast comparison.
SoS-US breasts were examined in <2 minutes.
The mean SoS values of densities a-d were 1421 m/s (SD 14),
1432 m/s (SD 17),
1448 m/s (SD 20),
and 1500 m/s (SD 31),
with significant differences between all groups (p<0.001).
The SoS-US comfort scores and inter-reader agreement were significantly better than those reported for MG (1.05 vs.
2.05 and 0.982 vs.
A strong segment correlation was observed between SoS and ACR-MG breast density was evident (rs=0.622,
p=<0.001) and increased for full breast classification (rs=0.746,...
This study shows that SoS of breast tissue of all breast sizes can be measured withhandheld US using a simple sound wave reflector at the opposite side of the probe andbreast.
The technology works on standard US hardware,
with a custom add-onsoftware and an interface developed for this purpose.
Using handheld SoS-US,
radiographers measured breast density without discomfort,
readers evaluated measurements with high inter-reader agreement,
and SoS-US correlated significantly with the ACR-MG breast density categories.
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