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Hospital Healthcare Europe

GE automated breast ultrasound examination adapts to individual patient needs


1 October, 2015  

With an estimated 494,000 new cases per year, breast cancer is by far the most common cancer among women across Europe. Particularly affected are women with dense breast tissue because of the difficultly it can cause when trying to detect cancer early using mammography.

At this year’s European Society of Breast Imaging (EUSOBI) Congress, GE Healthcare provides a new supplementary screening exam option; Invenia™ Automated Breast Ultrasound System (ABUS) – that can be used to increase cancer detection sensitivity in dense breast tissue.

Increased sensitivity in breast cancer detection by up to 55%
Having dense breast tissue represents a significant risk factor because it not only increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer, but can also mask the appearance of the disease on mammography scans. However, a supplementary automated breast ultrasound examination can increase the likelihood of early breast cancer detection. Clinical studies have shown that if the Invenia™ ABUS is used in addition to a standard mammography the likelihood of finding invasive breast cancers has a 55% relative increase when compared to mammography alone.

ABUS is a non-invasive examination that eliminates operator variation with improved technique standardisation,” said Dr Brigitte Wilczek, who alongside colleagues at St. Göran’s Hospital in Stockholm conducted a study of 1675 women to analyse the effectiveness of combining an ABUS examination with a traditional mammography. “One patient who participated in the study was a woman in her late 60s with more than 50% breast density. Her mammography screening results returned as normal, but the 3D-ABUS revealed a tumour in the upper-outer quadrant of her left breast. ABUS is valuable tool in the screening of women with dense breasts and therapy assessment.

Dense breast tissue makes it very difficult to detect pathological lesions when they are still very small. Thus many of the late diagnoses and the occurrence of interval cancers can be explained,” says Dr László Tabar, emeritus Professor of Radiology at the Medical Faculty of the University of Uppsala. “With ABUS we can now offer our patients a screening method that can find cancers hidden in dense tissue as well as a mammography.

Fast and effective screening
Invenia™ ABUS is a powerful tool based on ultrasound, which helps enable physicians to detect cancer that is mammographically occult in dense breast tissue and is designed to support a fast and effective workflow. It offers automatic volumetric ultrasound scanning, including image optimisation for image review and analysis to aid in diagnosis.

The technology is a comfortable, non-ionizing and non-invasive alternative to other complementary options in screening for women with dense breast tissue, allowing a volume acquisition of the entire breast tissue within just 15 minutes. New innovative technologies such as high-frequency reverse Curve™ transducer or the software-based ultrasound technology provide the basis for excellent image quality. The Invenia™ ABUS review software displays 2D volume in a patented, coronary 2mm layer management from the skin surface to the chest wall. A recent study found an analysis to be possible within approximately three minutes and in contrast to the hand-held ultrasound can result in time savings for both clinicians and patients.

Technologies designed for the individual
GE has been dedicated to mammography and the fight against breast cancer for nearly 50 years. In 1966, GE had already introduced its first mammography system, and in 1999 was at the forefront of the transition from analogue to digital technology. 2011 marked the introduction of SenoBright™ – contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) in the European market. Two years later, GE’s digital breast tomosynthesis, SenoClaire™, also featured at this year’s EUSOBI congress, was introduced to the region.

SenoClaire™ DBT is the only FDA approved 3D breast tomosynthesis that delivers the same dose as 2D view. 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. It 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 lightweight and a sophisticated, steady rotating tube-arm.