November 11, 2019 --
Jacinta Browne, PhD, a professor at the Dublin Institute of Technology Research in Ireland and a medical physicist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and colleagues conducted a study that compared the performance of a range of new anatomical breast ultrasound phantoms. The phantoms were developed in collaboration with radiologists and breast ultrasound sonographers, and they replicated sonographic characteristics of the different breast tissues and featured a variety of lesions, including cysts, fibroadenomas, and angular, spiculated lesions, which represented malignant findings. Browne's team developed a teaching plan to use with the phantoms.
The phantoms were scanned with three systems: GE Healthcare's Logiq 9 (system 1), GE's Logiq E10 (system 2), and Philips Healthcare's Epic (system 3). The images were scored using a five-point scale (with 1 equal to poor image quality and 5 equal to excellent image quality).
The researchers found that none of the three systems was superior to the others for imaging all types of lesions, although system 3 had the overall best performance, particularly for visualizing cysts. Cystic structures on the phantoms offered information about the devices' noise level, lesion detectability, and spatial resolution, while fibroadenoma and malignant lesion structures on the phantoms provided information about the devices' dynamic range, contrast, and spatial resolution performance.
"This study demonstrates the utility of 'life-like' ultrasound breast phantoms in the performance evaluation of systems, as well as the demonstration of different image optimization controls," Browne and colleagues concluded.