Running the Numbers
The number of referrals due to non-lesion localizations decreased by up to 44% when screening radiologists viewed current mammograms in association with prior mammograms, according to a study from the Department of Radiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.1 To determine the influence of mammogram comparisons on breast-cancer detection in screening, 12 screening radiologists read 160 soft-copy screening mammograms twice—once with and once without prior mammograms. Half had been obtained from women whose breast cancer was diagnosed later, and half had been reported as normal or benign. In retrospect, all cancers were visible. The total number of localized lesions detected by all radiologists was 636 (reading without priors) and 672 (with priors). The researchers concluded that comparison with priors significantly improves overall performance and can reduce referrals due to nonlesion locations.
- Roelofs AAJ, Karssemeijer N, Wedekind N, et al. Importance of comparison of current and prior mammograms in breast cancer screening. Radiology. 2007;242:70?77.
EWBC Technologist Updates Merrill?s Atlas Mammography Section
Valerie Andolina, RT(R)(M), a radiologic technologist and imaging compliance manager at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic (EWBC), Rochester, NY, recently revised the mammography section of Merrill’s Atlas of Radiographic Positioning and Procedures (11th ed, Mosby Elsevier, 2007). The three-volume set has long been considered the authoritative text for radiographic technology positioning.
Andolina, who has been with the EWBC since 1982, is the co-author of several texts on breast imaging and has served on an array of committees on breast cancer and imaging, including the American College of Radiology Subcommittee on Digital Mammography Quality Assurance and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Mammography Certification Exam Committee.
The revision gave Andolina the opportunity to include topics that technologists might not be able to find elsewhere; for example, she added information about the coat-hanger view. “I know that a lot of people don’t do it, but we do get phone calls asking us how,” she says. “It’s a specialized view, and I figured it needed to be in Merrill’s because if people are asking about it, it should be listed as a legitimate view.”
Andolina, who remembers referencing the third edition of Merrill’s when she was in school, explains that not much has changed in mammography positioning, even with the advent of digital. “Positioning is very similar,” she notes. “Because of the curvature of the receptor, you just have to make some kind of modification in the regular imaging you would do. It’s only really different for some digital [systems], depending on the manufacturer.”
The most important information to glean from her “good-sized” chapter on mammography isn’t a particular technique for positioning, or how to work with a particular vendor’s system. Rather, Andolina says that it’s the role a technologist plays as the front-line representative at the breast imaging center.
“What’s really important to communicate to other techs is how important the technologist is in this examination,” Andolina says. “You’re dealing with a personal exam for most women. It’s really important to know what you’re doing for your patient and that you have that rapport with your patient when she knows that you care and that you’re not just doing your job.”
Thorax Screening System Lowers Dosage, Increases Patient Throughput
|The Odelca-DR thorax screening system from Delft was on display at RSNA.|
Delft Imaging Systems BV, Veenendaal, the Netherlands, now offers a diagnostic x-ray system that uses Delft’s proprietary scanning technology for thorax screening. Introduced at RSNA 2006, the Odelca-DR—used in conjunction with the Rogan-Delft OnLine XS PACS archive and the Rogan-Delft View Pro-X diagnostic station—is a complete thorax-screening solution developed for both thorax examination and preventive tuberculosis screening.
“The Odelca-DR is more than a thorax system,” Delft CEO Guido Geerts said in a statement. “The new system is the future for tuberculosis screening worldwide.”
The detector line of the Odelca-DR uses complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology, and the generator operates at 100 kHz. The software enables diagnosis immediately after image acquisition—or images can be exported with patient data to other systems for diagnosis. The system also offers high patient throughput, lowered dosage, and both stationary and mobile applications.
For additional information, visit www.delftdi.com.