RSNA Research Shows Importance of Breast Imaging and Analytics Data
Volpara Solutions' Breast Imaging Software Tools Provide Quantitative Metrics to Maintain Accuracy and Consistent Quality in Breast Screening
CHICAGO, Nov. 29, 2016 – The importance of volumetric breast imaging and analytics data to help improve breast screening was the focus of numerous abstracts accepted for presentation here at the 102nd Annual Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting, November 27-December 2, 2016. Four abstracts highlighted the use of Volpara Solutions' breast imaging software tools to provide quantitative metrics, including compression, risk assessment, and other factors designed to maintain accuracy and consistent quality in breast screening. (South Hall #4574).
In the study, "Associations of Volumetric Mammographic Density Measures with Breast Cancer Risk in 5,746 Women" (RC215-05 – Monday, November 28, 9:20-9:30am), Bennett Battle, MD of the University of Arkansas Medical School presented the connection between VolparaDensity and risk. In a cohort of 5,746, women in the top quartiles of volumetric breast density (VBD), and dense volume had a 120% and 190% risk, respectively, of developing breast cancer, compared to women with the lowest density. Results demonstrate that automated volumetric mammographic density measurement allows for the identification of women at increased risk of developing breast cancer.
In "Validation Study of the Publically-Available Fully-Automated "LIBRA" Software for Mammographic Density Estimation: Results from a Case-Control Study of Breast Cancer" (RC215 – Monday, November 28, 8:50-9:00am), Mayo Clinic investigators used two commercial, automated breast density software tools to validate LIBRA. VolparaDensity™ and LIBRA showed strong correlations to each other in density measurement, but Volpara was superior for predicting breast cancer risk.
The relationship between the amount of breast compression and screening performance was investigated in "High Breast Compression in Mammography May Reduce Sensitivity" (RC215-08 Monday, November 28, 10:10-10:20am). Nico Karssemeijer and researchers from Nijmegen calculated frequencies of recalls, screen-detected cancers, and interval cancers stratified by compression pressure (compression force divided by contact area) on 111,870 screening mammograms from the Dutch breast cancer screening program and derived program sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value (PPV). Consistent with results presented at the International Workshop of Mammographic Imaging in June 2016, results demonstrate that the best cancer detection occurred in the middle ranges of breast compression (between 9.2 and 10.7 kPa); over- or under-compression can lead to poorer detection and a higher rate of interval cancers. Results suggest that if too much pressure is applied during mammography this may increase interval cancer rates and decrease PPV. Controlling pressure during mammography is important to decrease the discomfort experienced by women, but it may also be required to optimize screening outcomes.
The average pressure applied in mammography can be calculated as the applied force divided by the contact area between the breast and the paddle. In the scientific exhibit, "Validation of Two Methods of Measuring Contact Area for Estimation of Applied Compression Pressure in Mammography" (PH218-SD-MOA7 – Monday, November 28, 12:15-12:45pm), Woutjan Branderhorst, PhD and a research team from The Netherlands, assessed the accuracy of two methods of estimating the contact area. The first method evaluated was a "real time" measurement of contact area using transparent capacitive indium-tin-oxide foil attached to the paddle. In the second method, the contact area was derived from the image pixel data using Volpara®Enterprise™. Both methods showed almost perfect correlation to the manual measurement of contact area and thus both are suitable to accurately calculate average breast compression pressure. The contact area between the paddle and the breast can be measured accurately, both in real-time using the capacitive method, and retrospectively using Volpara software. This finding supports many studies that depend on one of these two methods for determining the pressure on the breast during mammographic compression. An accurate method to determine the contact area, such as with VolparaEnterprise, is essential to accurately estimate applied pressure.
Volpara Solutions will showcase its entire suite of quantitative breast imaging tools, including VolparaDensity, at RSNA. The company's technology is currently in use in 35 countries, and more than 9 million women have had their breast density analyzed using VolparaDensity.
About Volpara Solutions
Founded with the goal of helping radiologists give women the most accurate information possible regarding their breast health, Volpara Solutions is the wholly owned sales and marketing arm of Volpara Health Technologies Limited of New Zealand (formerly Matakina Technology). Available in most markets where breast cancer screening is commonplace, VolparaDensity provides an objective volumetric measure of breast density from both digital mammography and tomosynthesis data. VolparaDensity is part of a suite of quantitative breast imaging tools built on the Volpara Solutions algorithm that allows for personalized measurements of density, patient-specific x-ray dose, breast compression, breast positioning and other factors designed to provide critical insight for breast imaging workflow.
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Chris K. Joseph