25 March 2011 Relationship between breast sound speed and mammographic percent density
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Abstract
Despite some shortcomings, mammography is currently the standard of care for breast cancer screening and diagnosis. However, breast ultrasound tomography is a rapidly developing imaging modality that has the potential to overcome the drawbacks of mammography. It is known that women with high breast densities have a greater risk of developing breast cancer. Measuring breast density is accomplished through the use of mammographic percent density, defined as the ratio of fibroglandular to total breast area. Using an ultrasound tomography (UST) prototype, we created sound speed images of the patient's breast, motivated by the fact that sound speed in a tissue is proportional to the density of the tissue. The purpose of this work is to compare the acoustic performance of the UST system with the measurement of mammographic percent density. A cohort of 251 patients was studied using both imaging modalities and the results suggest that the volume averaged breast sound speed is significantly related to mammographic percent density. The Spearman correlation coefficient was found to be 0.73 for the 175 film mammograms and 0.69 for the 76 digital mammograms obtained. Since sound speed measurements do not require ionizing radiation or physical compression, they have the potential to form the basis of a safe, more accurate surrogate marker of breast density.
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Mark Sak, Nebojsa Duric, Norman Boyd, Peter Littrup, Lukasz Myc, Muhammad Faiz, Cuiping Li, Lisa Bey-Knight, "Relationship between breast sound speed and mammographic percent density", Proc. SPIE 7968, Medical Imaging 2011: Ultrasonic Imaging, Tomography, and Therapy, 79680N (25 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.878934; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.878934
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