gold_star - usedFellowship-trained breast imaging specialists from vRad (Virtual Radiologic) are now FDA-certified and accredited to read and interpret 3D mammograms, according to the Minneapolis-based telemedicine company. Also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, these reading services will be accessible to all clients in early 2016, following the completion of a successful client pilot program, including Medical Center Hospital based in Odessa, Tex.

“Early detection is the best defense we have today against breast cancer, and tomosynthesis makes certain abnormalities easier to see and classify with greater accuracy,” said Carol Evans, director of Radiology, Medical Center Hospital. “Having on-demand access to a vRad team of 3D-certified mammographers benefits our patients and our practice. vRad continues to be an innovative partner, now providing state-of-the-art breast imaging services that enhance our quality of care and relevance to our referring physicians and hospital relationships.”

Three-dimensional mammography converts digital breast images into a stack of “slices”—building a 3D image (i.e., similar to CT scans), that allow radiologists to look at breast tissue in greater detail.

“DBT is an important advance because it can potentially reduce false positives that lead to callbacks (i.e., when there is an abnormal or suspicious finding),” said Melissa D. Fana, MD, a fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Patchogue New York. “Additional testing and biopsies can be stressful, so any screening method that can reduce additional invasive procedures is good for women’s health and the healthcare system.”

“3D mammography is the best advancement I have seen in breast imaging in over 20 years of focusing on women’s health,” said Arlene Sussman, MD, Medical Director and the director of vRad’s Breast Imaging Program. “As a radiologist, I am encouraged by the clinical benefits I see in my daily interpretations. Details previously hidden are now more visible, allowing physicians to detect more with greater ease. As a woman and a prospective patient, I am also encouraged by how digital tomosynthesis is less stressful and more women-friendly as a screening procedure. That’s why my future mammograms will only be done using digital tomosynthesis.”