SBI: Synthetic 2D breast images as good as FFDM

Radiologists have found that generating synthetic 2D digital mammography images with digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is equivalent to using full-field digital mammography (FFDM) images for most women without suspicious findings on their mammograms, according to research presented at the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) conference in Austin, TX.

The study included 649 patients who underwent screening between June and September 2015 on a full-field digital mammography device and a Hologic Selenia Dimensions digital breast tomosynthesis unit equipped with the company's C-View synthetic 2D software. Breast imagers compared the synthetic 2D images with the FFDM images using a five-point scale.

Of the 649 studies, 60.4% were categorized as BI-RADS 1, 31.3% as BI-RADS 2, and 8.3% as BI-RADS 0. Ten biopsies were performed, three of which confirmed malignancies, noted Dr. Valerie Fein-Zachary and colleagues from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Fein-Zachary's group discovered that of the BI-RADS 1 exams, radiologists found synthetic 2D images to be equivalent to FFDM in 86.5% of the cases, better than FFDM in 2.6%, and worse in 10.9%. For the BI-RADS 2 and 0 exams with no specific findings, synthetic 2D images were equivalent to FFDM in 75.5% of cases, better in 6.1%, and worse in 18.4%.

The study results suggest that synthetic 2D images with tomosynthesis could be increasingly adopted into clinical practice, reducing patients' radiation exposure and maximizing the benefits of DBT, Fein-Zachary concluded.

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