Breast Imaging zeroes in
The long-awaited results of the Digital Mammography Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST) are in, giving digital mammography an edge over analog in detecting cancers in younger women and those with dense breast. At RSNA, visitors can take in a variety of digital options from work-in-progress CR mammography systems to a field-upgradeable analog to digital option and software to aid the analog to digital conversion. And vendors firmly centered in the digital market are rolling out new tools to further improve the process.

BioLucent, Inc. (Booth #8209) is showcasing the MammoPad breast cushion and highlighting the MammoPad Select program. MammoPad is a single-use, FDA-cleared foam cushion that covers the cold, hard surfaces of all commercially available mammography equipment. Numerous studies confirm that mammography pain is a major reason why many women don't get regular screening exams. Research indicates MammoPad can significantly reduce discomfort for most women, including women whose breast cancer has been treated by lumpectomy and radiation. Studies also demonstrate that MammoPad does not interfere with x-ray quality, and can actually increase the amount of compression women can tolerate.

Cedara (Booth #1918) is showcasing its Cedara I-Read Mammo soft-copy reading workstation designed for breast imaging. I-ReadMammo provides the image quality, performance and workflow design to enable radiologists to optimize their reading speed and improve patient care.

I-Read Mammo eliminates the hassle of switching between different workstations through vendor independence and multi-modality support. It also saves radiologist reading time by allowing individual users to determine image layout, presentation and view order.

Fujifilm Medical Systems (Booth #7157) is highlighting multiple versions of the works in progress Fuji CR mammography (FCRm) system which was pending pre-market approval application at press time. The company also is showing its Multi-Modality Breast Imaging Workstation. The workstation provides the full functionality of Synapse PACS for the interpretation of breast images or any imaging exam.

GE Healthcare (Booth #7730) is introducing the next generation platform of the Senographe mammography system. The new platform enhances the way clinicians can screen women for breast cancer, by dramatically increasing image quality, lowering dose and offering advanced applications.

Hologic, Inc. (Booth #7757) is demonstrating SecurView workstation solutions, highlighting its new Skeletal Health division and unveiling several works-in-progress.

New features of the SecurView series include the ability to share information between technologists and radiologists and simultaneous multi-modality review of DICOM breast images from other diagnostic modalities. The company is showing new image management solutions that provide high-volume, short-term storage of mammography studies and seamless archival integration with existing PACS and new image analysis and manipulation tools including intelligent roaming and customizable image layout and orientation formats.

Hologic is sharing details of its distribution and service agreement with Esaote including sales and service of Esaote's line of extremity MRI systems. Another Skeletal Health offering is InSight, a new mini C-arm x-ray system that debuted this summer for orthopedic surgeons performing minimally invasive surgical procedures of the extremities, as well as low-dose, in-office imaging procedures.

Works-in-progress include breast tomosynthesis and 3D imaging on the Hologic DXA system. After more than two years of diagnostic and screening clinical trials, Hologic is showing its latest idea of a breast tomosynthesis system. In addition, the company is presenting the results of ongoing trials to prove the improved sensitivity and specificity of digital breast tomosynthesis compared to 2D digital mammography. The company also is demonstrating how images acquired in different projections can be reconstructed to form three dimensional images of the femur using rotating C-arm technology on the Hologic Discovery DXA system.

Kodak's Health Group (Booth #4312) is highlighting a bone mineral density (BMD) test with its Mammography CAD system as a works in progress. The system captures a mammography exam and BMD exam of the patient's hand using the same mammography x-ray equipment and film. After processing, both the BMD and mammography films are digitized to generate results. The ability to perform both types of exams on the same equipment and film offers enhanced productivity and ease of use for healthcare facilities and a more comprehensive exam for patients.

Planmed (Booth #6944) is displaying the Nuance Classic analog mammography unit and works in progress Planmed Nuance full-field digital mammography system. Nuance Classic is designed to accommodate future upgrades to either CR-mammography or digital mammography.

In addition to the field upgrade to full-field digital option, the system offers a technologist-focused ergonomic design. Flex Automatic Exposure Control (Flex-AEC) anatomically adapts exposure control. The optional MaxView Breast Positioning System facilitates breast positioning and maximizes the amount of visible breast tissue seen on the mammogram.

Planmed Nuance is a full-field digital system for screening and diagnostic mammography that features a precision amorphous selenium detector, integrated MaxView Breast Positioning System and two detector sizes. It is upgradeable to stereotactic breast biopsy and designed for advanced applications. According to Planmed, it has completed patient accrual in the U.S, and FDA clearance is pending. The company hopes to market Planmed Nuance in the U.S. by the third quarter of 2006.

R2 Technology Inc. (Booth #8532) is showcasing the DigitalNow software system that helps facilitate mammography centers' transition to a digital mammography environment by enabling mammography films to be digitized and archived via DICOM to a PACS for use later in a soft-copy viewing environment.

Sectra (Booth #1356) is highlighting its Breast Imaging Workstation, Breast PACS and Sectra MicroDose Mammography system. Sectra's multi-modality, multi-vendor breast imaging workstation provides R2's ImageCheckerD digital mammography CAD results on full-field digital mammography (FFDM) images from Fischer Imaging, GE Healthcare, Hologic and Siemens Medical Solutions. As part of a collaborative agreement, R2 now distributes the Sectra universal breast imaging workstation and PACS in the United States and Canada.

Sectra is showing a complete workflow solution for the paper-free digital mammography department. The solution includes complete RIS integration, Sectra's digital mammography system and Sectra Breast Imaging PACS. Booth visitors can observe a case from registration through examination and documented diagnosis. Sectra PACS includes a multi-modality workstation designed for optimal reviewing of digital breast images from all vendors

Sectra MicroDose Mammography is a low dose FFDM system optimized for high-volume screening with an efficient and ergonomic workflow.

Siemens Medical Solutions (Booth #4337) is showcasing its MAMMOMAT NovationDR full-field digital mammography system designed to meet the demands of modern mammography practices by providing digital screening, diagnosis and stereotactic biopsy capabilities in one system. MAMMOMAT NovationDR features a flat-panel detector based on amorphous selenium (aSe) technology and enables a direct conversion of x-ray to digital information. The aSe detector technology has the potential to provide higher spatial resolution and greater clinical detail, resulting in exceptional diagnostic accuracy. At 24 by 29 centimeters, the size of the MAMMOMAT NovationDR image detector allows imaging of a wider range of patient breast sizes, and its new paddle design provides easier and more comfortable patient positioning, Siemens says. The system also features MammoReportPlus, a multi-modality workstation for mammography with the ability to accept CAD markers from approved vendors. MammoReportPlus provides fast, high-volume mammogram reading, permitting users to switch between eight-view mammographic studies in less than one second - improving workflow in the process.