senior_doctorsoffice - usedDespite its clinical advantages, the use of ultrasound for supplemental breast cancer screening is not as popular as MRI. A major contributing factor is the lack of available intensive training opportunities, according to a recent opinion piece in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

“The most common alternative screening modality, MRI, cannot be used with women who have pacemakers or other devices, severe claustrophobia, or renal insufficiency,” said Drs. Ellen B. Mendelson, professor of radiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Wendie A. Berg, professor of radiology at Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC. “To realize ultrasound’s potential to increase the number of cancers detected, intensive training programs need to be put in place for physician performers and interpreters for both handheld and automated breast ultrasound systems.”

Supplemental screening through ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation or require IV contrast material, and it is not affected by breast density. Nevertheless, its acceptance has lagged.

To read the rest of the opinion piece, visit the February issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.