Study Confirms Benefits of 3D Mammography

A new study released recently highlights just how well the 3D mammography Tomosynthesis technology is living up to its promise.

The use of 3D mammograms cut patient recall rates by at least a third, said study presenter Dr. Brian Haas of Yale School of Medicine at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

“Tomosynthesis offers great promise, such as increased conspicuity of lesions and reduced false positives from overlapping tissues,” Haas said, as quoted by radiology newsletter AuntMinnie. “And the potential benefits for patients include reduced recall rates and improved cancer detection rates.”

He said his group conducted the research to get more information about how well the technology is working in clinical practice. The study included patients who came to be screened at four sites between October 2011 and September 2012. The 3D mammography was available at just two of the sites.

Of the 13,174 patients in the study, nearly half received both the 3D and conventional mammograms. Researchers found that one-third fewer of these women were asked to return for a follow-up exam because of concerns about something on their images.  With a 3D image, it is easier for radiologists to determine whether something on an image is potentially concern or merely overlapping tissue resulting from the compression of the breast. The study showed that younger women and those with dense breasts benefitted the most. For women with extremely dense breasts, recall rates were cut by nearly 60 percent.

3D mammograms using the Tomosynthesis technology are available at ella health in Harrisburg and Toms River.

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