Background: Breast compression is important in mammography in order to improve image quality, better separate tissue components, and reduce absorbed dose to the breast. In this study we use a method to measure and visualize the distribution of pressure over a compressed breast in mammography. Purpose: To measure and describe the pressure distribution over the breast as a result of applied breast compression in mammography. Material and Methods: One hundred and three women aged 40.7-74.3 years (median, 48.9 years) invited for mammographic screening consented to take part in this study. They were subjected to two additional breast compressions of the left breast (standard force and approximately 50% reduction). Pressure images of the compressed breast were obtained using force sensing resistor (FSR) sensors placed underneath the compression plate. Subjects rated their experience of pain on a visual analogue scale (VAS). Results: Four pressure patterns were identified, fitting 81 of the 103 breasts, which were grouped accordingly. The remaining 22 breasts were found to correspond to a combination of any two patterns. Two groups (43 breasts) showed pressure mainly over the juxtathoracic part of the breast, had significantly greater breast thickness (P = 0.003) and had a lower mean pressure over dense tissue (P < 0.0001) than those with more evenly distributed pressure. Reducing compression force increased average breast thickness by 1.8 mm (P < 0.0001). Conclusion: The distribution of pressure differed greatly between breasts. In a large proportion of breasts the compression plate did not provide optimal compression of the breast, the compression force being absorbed in juxtathoracic structures.
|Status||Published - 2012|
|Peer review utförd||Ja|