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Research Finds Use of Volpara Objective Breast Density Software from Matakina Helps Overcome the Limitations of Mammography for Women with Dense Breasts
Date:3/4/2013

d into mammography reporting systems.

Breast density has been known to increase the risk of breast cancer and recent studies suggest that abnormal changes in breast density over time could also be associated with increased risk. Temporal changes may also aid in evaluating the impact of age and menopause on the breast. However, reader variability and differences in the “For Presentation” mammographic images generated on different vendor x-ray machines, make it difficult to judge breast density change. In the presentation “Assessing breast density changes over time,” (C-1770), Dr. Ralph Highnam, CEO of Matakina International and a co-author, introduces a novel objective method for transforming sequential mammograms into temporal density movies to address some of these issues. Results demonstrate high levels of agreement between sequential images and the use of optimized density maps help standardize mammographic images from different manufacturers to facilitate better judgement of temporal changes. “Breast density is one of the few modifiable breast cancer risk factors and we are encouraged that these results show strong potential for Volpara to accurately track changes in breast density over time,” said Dr. Highnam.

In a similar line of research, Professor Nico Karssemeijer has been testing the temporal stability of Volpara in the exhibit, “Temporal stability of fully automatic volumetric breast density estimation in a large screening population” (C-1953). They ran Volpara over 42,414 temporal pairs of mammograms and looked to see how often Volpara declared the woman to have moved from being a fatty breast (BIRADS 1,2) to a dense breast (BIRADS 3,4). Researchers noted that in a recent study of human observers some 7.1% of the time such a biologically implausible shift was noted, whilst for Volpara it was only 4.1% indicating that Volpara is far more robust at judging temporal change.

Another study, “BI-RADS breast density classificatio
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