Study: MammoPad breast cushion does not negatively impact digital mammo quality

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A new study has revealed that the MammoPad breast cushion has no clinically relevant effect on image quality or dose when used with full-field digital mammography equipment. The study was conducted by medical physicists Eric Berns, PhD and R. Edward Hendrick, PhD, FACR, and was presented last week at the annual conference of the National Consortium of Breast Centers Inc. (NCBC) in Las Vegas.
   
The breast cushion was designed by breast surgeon Gail Lebovic, MD, and can be used on all commercially available mammography equipment. The radiolucent, single-use pad covers the surfaces of the mammography machine, providing a soft, warm cushion for the breast.

Hendrick and Berns evaluated the effect on digital mammograms of zero, one, and two cushions while imaging the full clinical range of compressed breast thicknesses. The evaluations were conducted on four FDA-approved, full-field digital units manufactured by GE, Hologic and Siemens.

In several previous studies, researchers examining the cushion’s effect on comfort also assessed its impact on image quality. Without exception, image quality was shown to be unaffected.

The Berns and Hendrick research is an important development because many facilities face the dilemma of reconciling the clinical benefits of digital mammography with the increased acquisition, maintenance, and service costs for the equipment. MammoPad helps institutions finance digital mammography because it is proven to increase patient volume by attracting women for whom discomfort is a concern.