Like a jet flying farther without burning more fuel, or a computer chip crunching data faster in the same small space, mammography is making a similar technological leap when it comes to its latest advance in image clarity.
GE Healthcare announced today that it has received FDA approval for a new mammography solution, SenoClaire*, which helps clinicians see breast tissue in three-dimensions – but can do so without needing to increase the amount of X-rays used in standard 2D imaging.
The combination of technologies needed to image breasts at the same level of dose in 2D and 3D is unique to GE, which accomplished it based on x-ray beam quality, a reduction in scattered radiation, and the development of a fast, sensitive detector.
SenoClaire is indicated for the acquisition of 2D images and also for the acquisition of multiple projection views intended to produce 3D DBT images suitable for screening and diagnosis of breast cancer. SenoClaire can be used for the same clinical applications as traditional mammography for screening mammography.
A screening examination will consist of:
• A 2D image set consisting of a craniocaudal view and of a mediolateral oblique
• A 2D craniocaudal view and 3D mediolateral oblique image set.
SenoClaire works by using a low-dose, short X-ray sweep around a breast in a nine exposure “step-and-shoot” method. It involves stopping at each position where an image is taken, and unlike the continuous sweep, it helps ensure that no movement alters the image or produces blurring. The average acquisition takes less than ten seconds and is made possible because of the technology’s light-weight and a sophisticated, steady rotating tube-arm.
Ensuring cancers are detectable early enough and with confidence, while protecting the population from unnecessary exposure, is the objective of mammographic imaging — which is why the ability to deliver 3D images without raising dose is so critical.
According to Dr. Murray Rebner, Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Molecular Imaging at Oakland University William Beaumont School Of Medicine and Director of the Division of Breast Imaging and Intervention at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak: “3D breast screening technology helps clinicians uncover small cancers which can be a limiting factor in standard 2D mammography. As a radiologist, it’s important to offer technology like this for patients that produces higher image quality without increasing dose. We believe this technology can have a significant impact on helping clinicians to identify breast cancer.”
Why Dose Matters
When you take a picture with a smartphone camera, the light that comes in is natural and free, and you can take as many shots as desired. In X-ray imaging, the “light” used to gain the image is the X-ray itself, which is ionizing radiation.
“Standard digital mammogram exposes patients to low dose levels, which is why it’s acceptable for screening healthy women for breast cancer,” says Henri Souchay, Engineering Manager, Detection and Guidance Solutions, GE Healthcare. “The effective dose for a 2D digital mammogram is about 15 times less than an average CT scan. GE’s SenoClaire maintains the same level of dose in 3D as standard 2D mammography.”
“To better understand how SenoClaire is a low dose solution let’s compare it to naturally occurring radiation and other forms of x-ray based technology. For example, a chest x-ray is equivalent to three days of natural radiation; a mammogram is equal to one month of natural radiation, and a CT scan equals two years or more,” Souchay explains.
The efficiency of GE’s detector is what enables the 3D technology to deliver higher image quality without increasing dose compared to digital mammography, Souchay adds, as SenoClaire makes full use of an x-ray dose, without waste.
SenoClaire is a prescription medical device that is limited to sale, distribution, or use, to or on the order of a physician. Medical device imaging is not without risk, please discuss the risks associated with mammography with your healthcare professional.
*Trademark of General Electric Company
Learn more about GE’s $1 billion R&D commitment to cancer diagnosis technologies at http://www.getacklingcancer.com/