Study of breast implants mammography examinations for identification of suitable image quality criteria

Sá Dos Reis, Cláudia (HESAV School of Health Sciences, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland; Discipline of Medical Radiation Sciences, School of Molecular and Life Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, Australia; CISP - Centro de Investigação em Saúde Pública, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal) ; Gremion, Isabelle (HESAV School of Health Sciences, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland) ; Richli Meystre, Nicole (HESAV School of Health Sciences, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland)

Purpose : To characterise the mammography technique used in breast cancer screening programmes for breast implants (BI) and to identify if the image quality (IQ) criteria available in literature are applicable to BI imaging. Methods : The study was conducted in two phases: literature review to find IQ criteria used in mammography combining keywords in several sources; and assessment of 1207 BI mammograms using the criteria that was identified previously to see if they were achieved or not. An observation grid was used to collect information about positioning, beam energy, compression force, and exposure mode. Descriptive statistics and Student’s t test and χ2 test were performed according to the nature of the variables. Results : Forty-seven out of 2188 documents were included in the analysis, with 13 items identified to assess the quality of positioning, 4 for sharpness, 3 for artefacts, and 2 for exposure parameters. After applying the criteria to BI mammograms, retroglandular fat was not included in 37.3% of the images. The “Pectoral-Nipple-Line” criterion was achieved in 35% of MLO/ML images. The placement of the implant (subpectoral/subglandular) or performing the Eklund had significant influence on the visible anatomy (p = < 0.005), alongside whether the breast was aligned to the detector’s centre. Conclusions : Some of the criteria used to assess standard mammograms were not applicable to BI due to implant overlap. The alignment of the image with the detector’s centre seems to have an impact on the amount of visible tissue. Further studies are necessary to define the appropriate protocol, technique, and suitable quality criteria to assess BI mammograms.

Article Type:
Technique en radiologie médicale
Unité de recherche en santé, HESAV
11 p.
Published in:
Insights into imaging
Numeration (vol. no.):
January 2020, vol. 11, art. 3
Appears in Collection:

 Record created 2020-02-05, last modified 2020-10-27

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