BBN Technologies’ patented Stereoscopic Digital Mammography (SDM) system has significantly improved the early detection of suspicious lesions in a clinical trial conducted at Emory University’s Breast Imaging Center in Atlanta.
Using SDM, false-positive findings at screenings were reduced by 49 per cent and false-negative results were reduced by 40 per cent compared to standard two-dimensional mammography.
SDM is a mammography system that provides a three-dimensional, in-depth image of the breast viewed by a radiologist on a Planar Stereo 3D display.
The results of the Emory University trial show that this new system enables a radiologist to detect subtle lesions that the standard digital mammogram fails to detect.
Interpreting standard mammography images presents a challenge to radiologists, as subtle lesions in the breast may be masked by overlying or underlying normal tissue. An additional challenge arises when these layers of tissue superimpose to resemble a lesion, leading to a false positive report.
Stereoscopic mammography overcomes these challenges by providing a view that separates tissue in depth, making subtle lesions more visible and their characteristics far clearer.
The system was developed by Dr. David Getty, a division scientist at BBN Technologies and the principal investigator of the SDM project.
In the current standard mammography exam, two images of the breast are taken from two different viewpoints. The radiologist must examine the two images individually and must then infer from the two images how the tissue is arranged in the breast volume.
‘With the new stereo mammography technology, a stereo pair of images is taken, and then displayed on the new stereoscopic display workstation. The resulting three-dimensional image enables the radiologist to see directly how the tissue is distributed in depth in the breast,’ said Dr Getty.