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Varna Medical Forum

Automated Breast Ultrasound (Abus) – A Contemporary Overview

Georgi Valchev, Stanislava Mavrodinova, Mariana Yordanova, Nedyalko Lechev, Silvia Stoykova-Cherneva, Monika Zhekova


Breast cancer is a disease of exceptional social significance. Because of its high incidence and its potential for radical treatment in the early stages, a substantial amount of resources is being dedicated yearly to improve early detection. In recent years Western countries have begun implementing automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) machines – a modification of the standard manual ultrasonography device, aimed at creating a standardized, reproducible examination for screening and diagnosis, which would also allow for characterization of radiographically dense breasts – simultaneously a risk contingent for mammary cancer and a diagnostic challenge for standard x-ray mammography. Based on mechanical sound waves and the piezoelectric effect, the method is devoid of ionizing radiation. ABUS uses a transducer that automatically moves along an applicator, which is made to conform to the shape of the breast – scanning it in several planes. The images are processed by a computer, similarly to x-ray computed tomography, allowing for multiplanar analysis of each potential lesion. Currently ABUS is at its initial stages of development in Bulgaria – one of the very few hospitals to implement it successfully is St. Marina University Hospital in Varna, having successfully incorporated it into its diagnostic and screening algorithm.


radiology, roentgenology, ultrasound, breast cancer, diagnostic imaging, screening

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