StereoMirror technology helps reduce breast cancer false-positives

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Dec. 10 – A prototype diagnostic workstation that incorporates StereoMirror technology has been shown to reduce false-positive breast cancer findings by 49 percent and false-negative results by 40 percent compared to standard digital mammography, according to results from a clinical trial conducted at Emory University’s Breast Imaging Center in Atlanta.  The study results were presented at the 93rd scientific assembly and annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago last month.  

The stereoscopic 3D digital workstation was developed by Planar Systems and BBN Technologies and is currently being tested among a population of 1,093 patients at the imaging center.

In conventional two-dimensional mammographic imaging, subtle lesions that might be cancerous can be masked by underlying or overlying normal tissue and be missed.  In addition, normal tissue scattered at different depths can align to mimic a lesion, leading to a false-positive finding.  In the study, Planar’s StereoMirror display provided radiologists with a less ambiguous view of the breast's internal structure, according to BBN Technologies.

According to the results, stereo digital mammograms, viewed on a 5-megapixel workstation using Planar’s StereoMirror technology, showed “dramatic improvement in the accuracy of lesion detection, potentially delivering large gains in the cost-effectiveness of breast cancer screening,” said David J. Getty, PhD, division scientist at BBN Technologies. 

“This technology could lead to earlier cancer detection with improved visual sensitivity, which increases the likelihood of administering a successful patient treatment,” said Getty. “Through accurate readings, healthcare providers can both reduce the emotional trauma of unnecessary diagnostic work, as well as the associated financial impact of additional procedures.”