By Kate Madden Yee, AuntMinnie.com staff writer
November 11, 2015

Women's imaging is a crucial part of healthcare around the world, and it is particularly unique because it makes use of such a variety of modalities. This fact will be obvious to RSNA 2015 attendees, as researchers discuss topics ranging from ways to use abbreviated MR protocols in high-risk screening programs to using dedicated breast CT for imaging microcalcifications.

A key highlight at the meeting will be digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) research, with studies that explore how the technology has been performing in screening settings over the past few years, how synthetic 2D plus DBT compares to the combination of conventional mammography and tomosynthesis, and how radiologists are using the technology in diagnostic breast imaging applications.

As well, attendees can expect to hear many studies focused on breast ultrasound, with papers on using contrast with the modality, how ultrasound can help clinicians predict breast tumor response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and what features to look for on ultrasound for breast cancers that are positive for the estrogen receptor.

Finally, if you like refresher courses, the meeting will not disappoint. RSNA 2015 is hosting a variety of these sessions, including two "hot topic" gatherings -- one centered on ultrasound and tomosynthesis and the other on breast cancer screening -- as well as courses on MR-guided breast biopsy, ultrasound-guided interventional breast procedures, and the biology of breast cancer, to name a few.

For highlights of just some of the many women's imaging research papers and posters scheduled for presentation at this year's meeting, read on. To view RSNA's complete listing of abstracts for the 2015 scientific and educational program, click here.

Scientific and Educational Presentations
Breast CT tops mammography for microcalcifications
Sunday, November 29 | 11:55 a.m.-12:05 p.m. | SSA20-08 | Room S404AB
High-resolution breast CT improves the assessment of 3D microcalcification clusters, addressing one of mammography's limitations: the superimposition of tissue, according to researchers from Germany.
Dedicated breast CT offers promise as mammography adjunct
Sunday, November 29 | 12:05 p.m.-12:15 p.m. | SSA01-09 | Arie Crown Theater
Dedicated breast CT shows promise as an adjunct to mammography -- with the added benefit of not requiring compression, according to research to be presented on Sunday afternoon.
Basic obstetric ultrasound helps women in poor areas
Sunday, November 29 | 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. | GU200-SD-SUA1 | Lakeside Learning Center, Station 1
Women in poor communities often lack access to basic obstetric imaging. But researchers from the University of Vermont found that even minimally trained sonographers can produce diagnostic-quality obstetric ultrasound images.
Ultrasound helps predict lymph node response to therapy
Sunday, November 29 | 1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. | BR225-SD-SUB3 | Lakeside Learning Center, Station 3
Ultrasound can help predict which lymph nodes will respond to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in women with breast cancer, according to researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center.
3D printing revolutionizes breast cancer management
Sunday, November 29 | 1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. | IN104-ED-SUB8 | Lakeside Learning Center, Station 8
3D printing combined with volumetric analysis of breasts with 3D reconstruction is poised to completely reshape breast cancer care, according to this Sunday presentation.
Screening DBT shows better performance over time
Monday, November 30 | 8:50 a.m.-9:00 a.m. | RC215-02 | Arie Crown Theater
In this session, researchers will describe how screening digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) offers sustainable and continually improving performance, such as increased cancer detection and fewer interval cancers.
DBT improves screening cancer detection rate
Monday, November 30 | 9:00 a.m.-9:10 a.m. | RC215-03 | Arie Crown Theater
Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) improves cancer detection rates when the technology is used in an organized breast cancer screening program, according to researchers from Norway.
Breast ultrasound exam quality improves after passage of density law
Monday, November 30 | 10:00 a.m.-10:10 a.m. | RC215-08 | Arie Crown Theater
Since the first breast density notification law passed in Connecticut in 2009 -- sparking an increase in breast ultrasound exams as an adjunct to mammography -- there has been a marked improvement in the quality of these exams, with fewer false positives and a higher positive predictive value, according to research to be presented on Monday.
CAD improves radiologists' ABUS performance
Monday, November 30 | 10:10 a.m.-10:20 a.m. | RC215-09 | Arie Crown Theater
In this study, a Dutch team compared unaided radiologist readings of automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) exams with those interpreted using computer-aided detection (CAD) to determine if adding CAD as a "second reader" could help reduce unnecessary recalls.
ABUS not needed in at-risk women's screening protocol
Monday, November 30 | 10:20 a.m.-10:30 a.m. | RC215-10 | Arie Crown Theater
Women who carry BRCA genes benefit from yearly screening with both MRI and mammography. Because these women can still present with interval cancers, would adding automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) to the mix find more cancers earlier?
Abbreviated breast MRI is sensitive but not specific
Monday, November 30 | 11:10 a.m.-11:20 a.m. | RC215-13 | Arie Crown Theater
An abridged breast MR protocol has shown high sensitivity but only moderate specificity in a screening population of women at intermediate and high risk for breast cancer, which could mean high rates of follow-up imaging.
Annual breast MRI crucial for high-risk women
Monday, November 30 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | RC215-14 | Arie Crown Theater
Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have found that annual breast MRI is a key tool for detecting small, node-negative, invasive cancers in women at high risk for the disease.
Synthetic 2D with tomo reduces radiation dose by 43%
Monday, November 30 | 12:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. | BR236-SD-MOB4 | Lakeside Learning Center, Station 4
Using reconstructed 2D images with digital breast tomosynthesis decreases radiation dose to patients by more than 40%, according to this Monday afternoon poster presentation.
Synthesized 2D plus DBT yields comparable recall rates
Tuesday, December 1 | 10:10 a.m.-10:20 a.m. | RC315-09 | Arie Crown Theater
Using synthesized 2D mammography images with digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) yields recall rates comparable to those of conventional mammography in combination with DBT, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Health System report.
PET/MRI leads staging of invasive ductal breast cancer
Tuesday, December 1 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSG09-04 | Room S504CD
PET/MRI appears to lead the pack for the initial staging of invasive ductal breast cancer, thanks to the combined information provided by PET, diffusion-weighted MRI, and other MRI sequences.
DBT learning curve diminishes over time
Tuesday, December 1 | 11:10 a.m.-11:20 a.m. | RC315-13 | Arie Crown Theater
Practices that are beginning to use digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) in combination with 2D mammography can expect to experience a learning curve, according to research conducted at Yale University. But it will diminish over time as radiologists become familiar with the technology.
DBT improves biopsy outcomes
Tuesday, December 1 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | RC315-14 | Arie Crown Theater
In this presentation, researchers will describe how adding digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) to 2D mammography appears to steadily improve the positive predictive value of biopsies.
Researchers model breast CT compression, deformation
Tuesday, December 1 | 11:30 a.m.-11:40 a.m. | SSG16-07 | Room S502AB
Researchers are working toward automated lesion segmentation in breast image analysis, but targeting breast compression and localization is the first step -- and the subject of this presentation from the University of Michigan.
Patients want breast screening results right away
Tuesday, December 1 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | QS009-EB-TUA | Lakeside Learning Center, Hardcopy Backboard
A University of Utah team will share its success in providing screening mammography results to patients just a few minutes after studies are finished.
FDG-PET/MRI enhances breast cancer diagnosis and staging
Tuesday, December 1 | 3:00 p.m.-3:10 p.m. | SSJ02-01 | Room E450A
Multiparameter FDG-PET/MRI can improve the specificity of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, which could lead to more-accurate staging of breast lesions and fewer false positives and unnecessary biopsies.
Which is more sensitive: breast MRI or whole-breast ultrasound?
Wednesday, December 2 | 10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m. | SSK02-01 | Room E450A
Which is more sensitive for localizing breast cancer in patients already diagnosed: bilateral whole-breast ultrasound or breast MRI? Which is more specific? Researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center will address these questions during this Wednesday morning session.
ER-positive cancers have specific ultrasound features
Wednesday, December 2 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSK02-04 | Room E450A
Breast cancers that are positive for the estrogen receptor (ER) have particular ultrasound features that can help clinicians decide whether a patient is a good candidate for adjuvant chemotherapy, according to research that will be presented on Wednesday morning.
Follow-up ultrasound OK for abnormal nodes on breast screening
Wednesday, December 2 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSK02-06 | Room E450A
Follow-up ultrasound -- rather than additional axillary imaging -- is just fine for tracking abnormal lymph nodes found on screening breast ultrasound, as long as they do not have an extranodal extension, according to researchers from South Korea.
Dose monitoring app boosts breast imaging acquisition
Wednesday, December 2 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSK16-06 | Room S404AB
In this Wednesday session, an Italian team will discuss how a dose monitoring software application integrated into a RIS can optimize the ratio between radiation dose and image quality in a breast screening program.
Volumetric breast density predicts interval cancer risk
Wednesday, December 2 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSK01-09 | Arie Crown Theater
High volumetric breast density is a strong predictor of invasive interval breast cancer risk, according to this study to be presented on Wednesday morning.
Structured reporting app helps residents with breast MRI
Wednesday, December 2 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | IN240-SD-WEA2 | Lakeside Learning Center, Station 2
Researchers from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center have found that a Web-based structured reporting application helps residents conform to the BI-RADS lexicon in their breast MRI reports.
Analysis cuts no-show rate at breast imaging center
Wednesday, December 2 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | QS128-ED-WEA3 | Lakeside Learning Center, Station 3
A team from Stony Brook University will detail its success in significantly decreasing the patient no-show rate at a breast imaging center.
Who should deliver patients' breast biopsy results?
Wednesday, December 2 | 3:20 p.m.-3:30 p.m. | SSM01-03 | Room E451A
Patients want to hear breast biopsy results from the healthcare provider who ordered the test, even if they perceive radiologists as important to their care, a group from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has found.
Breast elastography helps surgeons distinguish DCIS
Wednesday, December 2 | 3:30 p.m.-3:40 p.m. | SSM02-04 | Room E451B
This session will describe how shear-wave elastography with B-mode ultrasound can distinguish between ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive cancer, helping surgeons determine the proper extent of surgery.
Contrast ultrasound matches MRI for gauging chemo success
Wednesday, December 2 | 3:40 p.m.-3:50 p.m. | SSM02-05 | Room E451B
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound is comparable to contrast-enhanced MRI for evaluating treatment response in breast cancer patients undergoing preoperative neoadjuvant chemotherapy, according to researchers from the University of Southern California.
Texture analysis sorts out uterine findings at MRI
Thursday, December 3 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSQ10-09 | Room E450B
With the help of texture analysis, MRI can distinguish between two uterine findings that have traditionally been difficult to separate, a group from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reports.
Breast density analysis IDs women needing more screening
Friday, December 4 | 11:30 a.m.-11:40 a.m. | SST01-07 | Room E450B
In this Friday session, Dutch investigators will present an automated way to identify women who most need supplemental breast cancer screening, based on breast density.
Sense-soothing imaging room boosts mammography's performance
Friday, December 4 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SST01-09 | Room E450B
This Friday presentation will detail a sense-soothing imaging room that helps women relax while they undergo mammography, allowing better images to be acquired and possibly reducing false negatives.