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Varna Medical Forum

Breast ultrasound tomography . Novel solutions

Georgi Nikolaev Valchev, Tsvetelina Georgieva Teneva, Zhenia Nikolaeva Zhekova-Maradzhieva, Bistra Ivanova Velchovska


According to recent studies, breast cancer is the oncological disease of highest incidence in women worldwide, as well as the second-highest after pulmonary cancer mortality-wize. Noting a decrease in incidence in the USA in the years after 2000-2002 (partial- ly due to receding use of hormone replacement therapy), breast cancer remains a condition of tremendous social significance. Therefore, special attention is to be given to the methods of screening and diagnostics. The diagnostic arsenal is augmented more and more each year - from analogue and digital mammography stems digital mammographic tomosynthesis, while ultrasonography evolves into two new methods capable of delivering images of high informativeness - also devoid of ionizing radiation. These methods are Whole Breast Ultrasound (WBU) and Ultrasound Computed Tomography (USCT). WBU allows for identification of small early lesions in dense breast tissue - difficult to identify even on digital mammography. It consists of an automatically propelled transducer, which thoroughly scans the breast and adherent zones of interest. Two technological variants of the method exist. Both require a technologist to assist with adequate compression. USCT, on the other hand, does not require compression - the breast is put into a vessel of water, the walls of which are made up of multiple transducers, all yielding images. These images are then reformatted by a computer like in Röntgen-ray CT. Technically, standard ultrasound images are tomographic - no overlap of adjacent structures is present. However, they are yielded from a single angle at a time. USCT images each object from a multitude of angles, improving visualization.


ultrasound; breast cancer; novel technological solutions

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