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Women's Imaging

 

Reviewing their group’s implementation of the fifth edition of the American College of Radiology’s BI-RADS Atlas, breast radiologists at the Medical University of South Carolina have observed considerable reader variability in determinations of which patients have dense breast tissue.

Despite known risks and unknown benefits, many older survivors of breast cancer with short life expectancy go for surveillance mammography every year. Meanwhile, relatively few with robust life expectancy don’t seem to bother. At the very least, the odd juxtaposition calls for guidelines to tailor care for both these older cancer-survivor subsets.

Members of the radiology department at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore have tried two simple means of reducing recall rates in screening mammography and found both effective. What’s more, neither intervention hurt the team’s performance on cancer detection—and both are replicable by other breast-imaging operations.

Prior research has shown that the human brain responds similarly to desired substances of abuse as to cute babies’ faces, with both cues triggering the release of dopamine-based brain rewards. A new functional MRI study has documented that the baby-face response is markedly muted in mothers who have substance addictions—even when the babies are their own.

European researchers have developed a low-cost ultrasound scanner they hope will lead to reduced maternal mortality in developing parts of the world.

 

Recent Headlines

New BI-RADS guidelines may multiply dense-breast counts

Reviewing their group’s implementation of the fifth edition of the American College of Radiology’s BI-RADS Atlas, breast radiologists at the Medical University of South Carolina have observed considerable reader variability in determinations of which patients have dense breast tissue.

Older breast-cancer survivors evidence puzzling patterns in surveillance mammography

Despite known risks and unknown benefits, many older survivors of breast cancer with short life expectancy go for surveillance mammography every year. Meanwhile, relatively few with robust life expectancy don’t seem to bother. At the very least, the odd juxtaposition calls for guidelines to tailor care for both these older cancer-survivor subsets.

Breast team cuts recall rates 2 easy ways while maintaining cancer-detection performance

Members of the radiology department at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore have tried two simple means of reducing recall rates in screening mammography and found both effective. What’s more, neither intervention hurt the team’s performance on cancer detection—and both are replicable by other breast-imaging operations.

Brains of substance-addicted mothers numb to own babies’ faces

Prior research has shown that the human brain responds similarly to desired substances of abuse as to cute babies’ faces, with both cues triggering the release of dopamine-based brain rewards. A new functional MRI study has documented that the baby-face response is markedly muted in mothers who have substance addictions—even when the babies are their own.

Low-cost ultrasound prototype may help save lives in poor regions

European researchers have developed a low-cost ultrasound scanner they hope will lead to reduced maternal mortality in developing parts of the world.

Study shows the mammography wars as curated by Google News

The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force’s 2009 screening-mammography recommendation—every other year for average-risk women aged 50 to 74—opened the floodgates of the “when to start/how often to repeat” controversy that’s been percolating ever since. A study published online in Academic Radiology shows how the disharmony has played out in online news coverage.

Radiologists urged to watch for breast cancer in all women’s chest CTs

Reviewing more than 1,100 chest CT scans performed on women for various reasons, German researchers have found the imaging incidentally turned up at least one lesion requiring a closer look—i.e., BI-RADS 3 to 5—in nearly 6 percent of the patients. They call for radiologists to be alert for breast cancers when reading all chest CTs.

Fewer repeat surgeries in women imaged pre-op with breast MRI

While preoperative breast MRI rarely changes prior decisions to perform mastectomy on women with biopsy-proven breast cancer, the extra imaging can reduce the odds of needing a second trip under the knife for patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery.

Screening breast ultrasound supplies definitive diagnoses in dense tissue

Screening sonography of women with dense breast tissue can find cancers that mammography misses, and the radiation-free modality is specific enough to keep unneeded biopsies in check, according to the authors of a study published online June 28 in the Journal of Ultrasound Medicine.

Demographics predict patient preferences for breast imaging providers

Where women choose to go for breast imaging depends on whether they value expertise over convenience, or vice versa, as well as how much they care about care setting and how ambivalent they feel about the whole experience. Fortunately, their preferences largely track with demographic characteristics, making population-level priorities discoverable and actionable.

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