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6 March 2013 Pressure distribution in mammography: compression of breasts with malignant tumor masses
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Proceedings Volume 8668, Medical Imaging 2013: Physics of Medical Imaging; 86684E (2013)
Event: SPIE Medical Imaging, 2013, Lake Buena Vista (Orlando Area), Florida, United States
The pressure distribution over a compressed breast is in general heterogeneous. In this study we investigated the pressure distribution over compressed breasts with tumor masses. Twenty-two women either recalled for work-up of findings suspicious for breast cancer in the screening program or with clinically suspected findings were included in the study. Twenty-one lesions turned out to be malignant and one benign. The distribution of compression pressure was measured using thin FSR (Force Sensing Resistor) pressure sensors attached to the compression plate. The pressure over the breast was ascertained by acquiring an x-ray image of the compressed breast with the pressure sensors present. The pressure data and the mammogram were used to create a composite image with pressure data displayed as a color overlay. The malignant tumor area generally matched an elevated pressure area and this pressure was generally higher than the pressure over surrounding parenchyma. In 11 out of 22 (50%) subjects the maximum pressure over the breast was located over the tumor. Only 4 out of 22 (18%) masses had a lower tumor mean pressure compared to the mean pressure over the breast (including one small < 10 mm tumor and one benign structure). The results suggest that tumors are stiffer, thus, absorbing more pressure compared to the surrounding parenchyma and that this property can be quantified. Refined pressure techniques could possibly be used to demonstrate the relative elasticity distribution in breast tissue, which might provide valuable differential diagnostic information.
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Daniel Förnvik, Magnus Dustler, Ingvar Andersson, Håkan Brorson, Pontus Timberg, Sophia Zackrisson, and Anders Tingberg "Pressure distribution in mammography: compression of breasts with malignant tumor masses", Proc. SPIE 8668, Medical Imaging 2013: Physics of Medical Imaging, 86684E (6 March 2013);

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