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22 September 2006 Molecular breast imaging using a dedicated high-performance instrument
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In women with radiographically dense breasts, the sensitivity of mammography is less than 50%. With the increase in the percent of women with dense breasts, it is important to look at alternative screening techniques for this population. This article reviews the strengths and weaknesses of current imaging techniques and focuses on recent developments in semiconductor-based gamma camera systems that offer significant improvements in image quality over that achievable with single-crystal sodium iodide systems. We have developed a technique known as Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) using small field of view Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) gamma cameras that permits the breast to be imaged in a similar manner to mammography, using light pain-free compression. Computer simulations and experimental studies have shown that use of low-energy high sensitivity collimation coupled with the excellent energy resolution and intrinsic spatial resolution of CZT detectors provides optimum image quality for the detection of small breast lesions. Preliminary clinical studies with a prototype dual-detector system have demonstrated that Molecular Breast Imaging has a sensitivity of ~90% for the detection of breast tumors less than 10 mm in diameter. By comparison, conventional scintimammography only achieves a sensitivity of 50% in the detection of lesions < 10 mm. Because Molecular Breast Imaging is not affected by breast density, this technique may offer an important adjunct to mammography in the evaluation of women with dense breast parenchyma.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Michael K. O'Connor, Douglas Wagenaar, Carrie B. Hruska, Stephen Phillips, Gina Caravaglia, and Deborah Rhodes "Molecular breast imaging using a dedicated high-performance instrument", Proc. SPIE 6319, Hard X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Detector Physics and Penetrating Radiation Systems VIII, 63191D (22 September 2006);


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