- Pressure-standardized breast compression in mammography
G.J. den Heeten
- Award date
- 24 June 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
In current mammography practice, similar compression forces are applied to all breasts. Women with smaller and/or firmer breasts are disadvantaged because they receive a much higher pressure: The same force is applied on a much smaller contact area (pressure = force / contact area).
Our solution is straightforward: apply the same pressure to all breasts. The required forces will then be proportional to the breast contact area: Smaller and/or firmer breasts will automatically receive less force than larger and/or softer breasts. Standardizing the compression to a target pressure of 10 kPa (75 mmHg) is expected to evacuate the venous blood, thus aiming to achieve similar physiological conditions in all breasts.
We developed and validated a contact area sensor technique to perform pressure-standardized breast compression in mammography. This was used in our intervention study, performed in the Dutch screening, to intra-individually compare a 10 kPa pressure-standardized compression applied to one breast with a 14 daN force-standardized compression applied to the other. Without knowing which was which, 85 % of the participants considered the pressure-standardized compressions equally or less painful, and three experienced radiologists found no differences in image quality. We conclude that: If we were to apply the same pressure to each breast, compressions would be better standardized and unnecessary pain would be prevented. Image quality and average glandular dose would not change significantly.
It may seem paradoxical that "standardization" can also be "personalization", but that is exactly what pressure-standardized compression does.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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