Dense Breast Tissue No Challenge for Molecular Breast Imaging

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According to a recent study, molecular breast imaging (MBI) has been discovered to detect cancer independently and regardless of breast tissue density. This ground-breaking data was collected from over 300 breast cancer patients who underwent the MBI/BSGI procedure. The same high rate of 95% of breast cancer detection was confirmed for women with or without breast density. 

This significant discovery has since been published in the issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology by a group of radiologists and surgeons at the George Washington University Medical Center (Washington DC, USA).

“This study indicates that breast tissue density is simply a non-issue for MBI/BSGI. This is great news for patients who have an inconclusive mammogram due to breast density, implants, or scarring,” said vice president for science and technology at Dilon Technologies (Newport News, VA, USA), a developer of MBI systems, Douglas Kieper.

Dilon Technologies, Inc. is a developer of diagnostic imaging with the Dilon molecular imaging systems, high-resolution, small field-of-view general-use imaging cameras, optimized to perform molecular breast imaging (MBI/BSGI) and localization for MBI-guided breast biopsy.

Dilon’s surgical imaging products, the Navigator probes, are one of the most widely used gamma probes for cancer surgery. The gamma probes offer an upgrade option for three-dimensional (3D) tumor imaging and navigation with SurgicEye’s (Munich, Germany) declipseSPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) camera. breast density

Dilon is the exclusive international distributor of Digirad’s (Atlanta, GA, USA) Cardius cardiac and ergo general molecular imaging cameras that provide excellent image quality and increased patient comfort with a compact, open design. 

A variety of studies has demonstrated that mammography is less effective in patients with dense breast tissue, missing as much as 50% of breast cancers. Breast MRI is known to be more sensitive than mammography or ultrasound in women with dense breasts, however at a much higher cost per scan.

On the other hand, MBI, also referred as breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI), is an imaging protocol that has been shown in several clinical studies to be more effective than mammography or ultrasound for detecting breast cancer, especially in women with dense breasts. Furthermore, the MBI/BSGI procedure can be performed at one-third of the cost of an MRI and it can be provided to patients who cannot undergo an MRI scan, such as women with pacemakers, those who are on dialysis, or are claustrophobic. 

For years, women who have dense breasts were usually unaware of their breast density or of the chance that their negative mammogram might be missing cancers. That is until recently, as several states in the United States have passed legislation requiring breast centers to inform patients with dense breasts that their mammogram might be inconclusive.

The state of Oregon new breast density law includes BSGI as one of the technology alternative that should be considered for patients who receive a dense-breast notification from their doctor. The state of Indiana goes beyond that by requiring state employee-health plans to cover additional medical examination for women with high breast density.