Purpose: Malignant breast lesions can be distinguished from benign lesions by their mechanical properties. This has been utilized for mechanical imaging in which the stress distribution over the breast is measured. Mechanical imaging has shown the ability to identify benign or normal cases and to reduce the number of false positives from mammography screening. Our aim was to develop a model of mechanical imaging acquisition for simulation purposes. To that end, we simulated mammographic compression of a computer model of breast anatomy and lesions. Approach: The breast compression was modeled using the finite element method. Two finite element breast models of different sizes were used and solved using linear elastic material properties in open-source virtual clinical trial (VCT) software. A spherical lesion (15 mm in diameter) was inserted into the breasts, and both the location and stiffness of the lesion were varied extensively. The average stress over the breast and the average stress at the lesion location, as well as the relative mean pressure over lesion area (RMPA), were calculated. Results: The average stress varied 6.2-6.5 kPa over the breast surface and 7.8-11.4 kPa over the lesion, for different lesion locations and stiffnesses. These stresses correspond to an RMPA of 0.80 to 1.46. The average stress was 20% to 50% higher at the lesion location compared with the average stress over the entire breast surface. Conclusions: The average stress over the breast and the lesion location corresponded well to clinical measurements. The proposed model can be used in VCTs for evaluation and optimization of mechanical imaging screening strategies.

Sidor (från-till)1-15
TidskriftJournal of Medical Imaging
StatusPublished - 2022 maj 1

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Radiologi och bildbehandling


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