With the recent FDA approval of the ClearView digital mammography products, FUJIFILM Medical Systems USA (Stamford, Conn) becomes the first vendor to offer a full-field digital mammography (FFDM) system based on CR technology in the United States. CR for mammography uses imaging plates (IPs) made with photostimulable phosphor to convert x-rays into digital information. Existing glass, flat-panel FFDM systems rely on solid-state detectors.

The CR Reader, the ClearView CSM, has a unique dual-side reading capability that permits the capture of x-ray information from both sides of the Imaging Plate (IP) simultaneously. The 50-?m laser excites the phosphor, which has a thicker coating compared to standard CR IPs. Light is emitted from both sides due to a clear base and is captured with dual light guides.

Fuji CRm (FCRm) does not require replacing the existing mammography x-ray acquisition unit, significantly lowering conversion costs for facilities. The film cassettes in the acquisition unit are replaced with CR cassettes, and after the exam—typically four exposures—the cassettes are digitally processed, and the resulting images are sent to a computer workstation configured with high-resolution monitors. Using FCRm, up to three screening-exam rooms can be converted to digital with one multi-plate system, and at about half the cost per room as other FFDM systems. The ClearView CR readers perform both mammography and general radiography imaging exams, providing multipurpose capability.

The ClearView product line features Fuji’s patented dual-side reading technology that produces images equivalent to those produced by the company’s single-side reading technology with the potential for lower radiation dosage. ClearView’s 50-?m pixel spot size results in a spatial resolution close to 10 line pair (lp)/mm.

The digital mammography reader is available in two configurations: the multiplate version, which has been available from Fuji for general radiography since 2004, and a new single-plate version. This will provide facilities with options to best meet varied throughput, workflow, and budgetary needs. While the ClearView-CSm multiplate reader can accommodate the volume of up to three screening mammography exam rooms, the ClearView-1m single-plate reader offers the option of being used right in an exam room. Both demonstrate the exact same image quality and are estimated to cost about half the price per room compared to currently available flat-panel FFDM solutions.

Fuji received FDA approval in early July to market ClearView for digital mammography products in the United States.

The Spec Sheet

  1. Spatial resolution: 50-?m pixel spot size provides 10 lp/mm or 20 pixels/mm spatial resolution
  2. Detector size: 18- x 24-cm and 24- x 30-cm field of view
  3. Image matrix: 3540 x 4740 and 4740 x 5928
  4. Dose efficiency: Patented dual-side reading technology provides 100% improvement in detective quantum efficiency over single-side CR.
  5. Connectivity: FCRm FFDM supports DICOM standard output. FCRm mammography images in DICOM MG for Presentation form, can be sent to and displayed by any PACS.
  6. Footprint (both systems): 25.8 inches wide x 29 inches deep

The Visible DIfference

Fuji’s patented dual-side reading technology produces images with a higher detective quantum efficiency (DQE) and potential for a lower radiation dose than traditional, single-side technology. The 50-?m pixel spot size makes it possible to produce clearer images using the same dose as traditional technology. Dual-side reading allows light collection from both sides of the imaging plate, enabling the use of a thicker imaging plate to capture more x-ray photons. The result is an image with up to 10 lp/mm resolution, a 100% higher detective quantum efficiency, and a 50% reduction in noise over standard CR.