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Women's Imaging


Diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) may soon command broader consideration than it’s been getting as a supplemental breast-screening tool. The modality not only finds many breast cancers that don’t show up on mammograms but also outperformed supplemental breast ultrasound in a study published online Oct. 28 in Clinical Imaging.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Oct. 27 reminder that thermography is not an acceptable substitute for mammography.

Screening mammography providers “on wheels” planning to serve medically underserved Latino communities would do well to first communicate with each community on perceptions of such services and, where needed, to offer education prior to rolling in.

Following screening mammography that turns up nothing, women with dense breast tissue are much more likely to pursue additional imaging with automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) when two things happen: their radiologists inform them of their tissue density and encourage them to consider the secondary exam because of it.

Image quality in mammography, thanks to concerns about radiation dose, faces a Goldilocks problem—where radiologists want to get the best image possible, while also minimizing risk to the patient. 


Recent Headlines

Nearly 90% of mammography sites satisfying quality inspectors

More than 87 percent of the 8,700 or so FDA-certified mammography facilities in the U.S. are in complete compliance with the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) of 1992. And, of those that have fallen short on any MQSA measure, fewer than 1 percent have a serious violation.

Accurate breast cancer risk prediction achieved with image conversion, AI-like classification

Computer scientists in the U.S. and China have demonstrated a mammographic image conversion method that incorporates optical-density features and combines with a computer-aided classification scheme to boost the accuracy of risk predictions for breast cancer.

Dense breast tissue may await 20-something women who drink spirits rather than beer, wine

Young women who drink spirits—i.e., “hard liquor”—may be more prone to developing dense breast tissue than their peers who either stick to beer and wine or don’t drink at all.

Mega trial looks to compare efficacy of 2D and 3D mammography

ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (ECOG-ACRIN) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are leading the Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial, the first randomized trial to compare 2D and 3D digital mammography screening.

Breast-care joint venture launches in Texas

Two large, Texas-based provider organizations have entered into a joint-venture agreement that, they say, will improve access to breast imaging and related services in and around Houston.

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.