In the latest study, Emory University investigators discovered that stereoscopic digital mammography, a novel experimental imaging modality, “allows clinicians to detect more lesions and could significantly reduce the number of women who are recalled for additional tests following routine screening mammography.” The findings of the study–a reduction by 49% of false-positive results–were just presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
Stereoscopic Digital Mammography (SDM) was developed by BBN Technologies from Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Here’s what the company says about its device:
The current standard method to screen for breast cancer is x-ray mammography. In a standard mammographic screening exam, radiologists view the breast in the form of two orthogonal 2D images, which severely limits their ability to derive information about the three-dimensional layout of the breast tissue. Specific limitations in lesion detection with standard mammography include:
A true lesion often remains undetected when masked in the 2D images by overlying or underlying normal tissue, leading to false negative examinations. Overlapping of normal tissue at different depths within the breast, which in the 2D projected image may mimic a true focal lesion, lead to false positive detections. Information regarding the volumetric structure of the breast that can be derived from the pair of 2D images is very limited and often omits information that can be important in detecting suspicious lesions.
With BBN’s patented Stereoscopic Digital Radiography system, the radiologist sees the breast in stereo providing a direct, intuitive, in-depth view of the internal structure of the breast. The stereoscopic display workstation developed by BBN consists of a high-resolution grayscale stereo display developed by Planar Systems Inc in collaboration with BBN, and a BBN-developed software application that permits the radiologist to control many aspects of the displayed stereo image.
By providing an in-depth view of the breast, stereo mammography substantially reduces the limitations of standard mammography:
Masking of subtle lesions is reduced by their separation in depth from surrounding normal tissue. False positive detections are reduced because layers of normal tissue are directly seen to lie at different depths in the breast and don’t superimpose to resemble a lesion. The internal structure of the breast is directly appreciated in depth.
Product page: Stereoscopic Digital Radiography system …
Emory press release: New Mammography Technology Improves Cancer Detection …
BBN press release: False-Positive Reports of Breast Lesions Reduced by 49 percent in Clinical Trial …