Diagnostic Role of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis

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Since its introduction in 2011, digital breast tomosynthesis has been adopted rapidly worldwide for screening mammography. Digital breast tomosynthesis is a new technology that acquires a series of low-dose images of the compressed breast from different angles while the x-ray tube moves along an overhead arc.1 This projection image dataset is then used to reconstruct 1-mm thin-section images in standard mammographic views. Displaying the breast tissue in 1-mm-thin slices results in decreased tissue overlap, improved lesion visibility, better delineation of lesion margins, and more accurate characterization of lesion architecture.1 Numerous studies have established that digital breast tomosynthesis increases the sensitivity and specificity of screening mammography. With the addition of digital breast tomosynthesis to conventional digital mammography, Skaane et al2 documented a 27% increase in the detection rate for in situ and invasive cancers combined, and a 40% increase in the detection rate for invasive cancers. Haas et al3 reported a significant reduction in screening recall rates from 12.0% to 8.4% with combined digital breast tomosynthesis and digital mammography, especially in women younger than age 50 years and those with dense breasts.

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