Making breast imaging safer doesn’t mean that its effectiveness has to be lessened as a result. As a recently concluded study performed at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, showed, it is possible to achieve a five-fold reduction in the dose used for molecular breast imaging (MBI) without losing diagnostic efficacy.

The Mayo Clinic researchers used a LumaGEM MBI by Gamma Medica and Alcyone by GE Medical Systems in the study. Both systems are comprised of dual-head pixilated cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) detectors mounted on a modified mammographic gantry. The dual-head camera design was previously shown to significantly increase detection of small breast lesions compared to a single head design. The researchers used three dose reduction methods during the study: low-dose collimation, energy acceptance window, and post processing filters.

The results found that optimized collimation and a widened energy window resulted in a gain in sensitivity of 3.6 for the LumaGEM and 2.8 for the Alcyone detectors. With application of all three dose-reduction methods, 148 MBq images had slightly fewer counts but comparable or improved signal-to-noise ratio compared to the standard 740 MBq images. Based on these results, the researchers concluded that MBI performed with 148 MBq Tc-99m sestamibi matches that of standard MBI performed at the 740 MBq dose. This reduced dose is comparable to digital screening mammography.

(Source: Press Release)