Groundbreaking Study Demonstrates the Benefits of 3D Mammograms

image 2d compared to 3dA groundbreaking study released this week highlights how effective the 3D Tomosynthesis mammography technology used at ella health really is. The study out of Norway showed an impressive increase in the detection of breast cancers along with a decline in the number of false positives.

This study is important in part because of the size – it included more than 12,600. It is also the first large scale, peer-reviewed study to compare conventional 2D mammography with the combination of 2D and 3D as they are used in the clinic.

Conventional digital mammography involves taking a single X-ray image of a breast. In contrast, the Tomosynthesis system captures multiple, low-dose images from different angles around the breast that are combined into a single 3D image. There is little apparent difference to patients. The 2D and 3D images are taken simultaneously and add just a few seconds to an exam.

But the difference in the results can be significant, as this new study shows. When 2D was combined with 3D, there was a:

  • 40 percent increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers;
  • 27 percent increase in the detection of all cancers;
  • 15 percent decline in the rate of false positives.

The results were the same across all breast tissue densities, from dense to fatty. Notably, there was no increase in the detection of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which is non-invasive.

The study was led by Per Skaane, M.D., at Oslo University Hospital and published in the peer-reviewed Radiology, the scientific journal of the Radiological Society of North America.

Here is what the researchers had to say about the results:

“We found a significant increase in cancer detection rates, particularly for invasive cancers, and a simultaneous decrease in false positive rates with the use of mammography plus Tomosynthesis compared with mammography alone.”

The study showed similar results to a study released at the Radiological Society of North America meeting late last year. That study showed even larger reductions in recall rates.

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