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Research Presented at RSNA Shows Volpara Solutions’ VolparaDensity Central to Quantifying Masking Risk and Optimizing Adjunctive Imaging for Women with Dense Breasts

The importance of volumetric breast density assessment for masking risk quantification and optimization of adjunctive imaging is the focus of numerous abstracts accepted for presentation here, at the 101st Annual Radiology Society of North America (RSNA) meeting, November 29-December 4, 2015. Nine abstracts highlight the use of Volpara Solutions’ quantitative breast imaging software tools for providing breast imaging and analytics data to help improve screening of women with dense breasts, including risk assessment, optimizing supplemental imaging, monitoring patient-specific dose and other factors designed to maintain accuracy and consistent quality in breast screening. (South Hall booth #2377).

“It is clear that improving the effectiveness of breast cancer screening among women with dense breasts remains one of the most critical issues facing the imaging community as evidenced by dozens of studies being presented at RSNA addressing the quantification of masking risk, the correlation of breast density to the sensitivity of mammography, monitoring mammographic dose, as well as a number of studies reporting on the potential clinical roles of whole breast ultrasound and tomosynthesis,” said Ralph Highnam, PhD, Volpara Solutions’ CEO and Chief Scientist. “We are proud that researchers worldwide routinely use Volpara to conduct key research to expand our understanding of volumetric breast density and how that knowledge can be applied to improve screening.”

Quantification of Masking Risk with Volumetric Breast Density

In the presentation “Quantifying the Potential Masking Risk of Breast Density in Mammographic Screening” (SSK01-04 – Wednesday, December 2, 11-11.10 am in the Arie Crown Theater) Dr Stamatia Destounis presents results of a study conducted at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Care (EWBC) to compare the current method of reporting on reduced mammographic sensitivity, using the American College of Radiology (ACR) BI-RADS density categories, with quantitatively assessed volumetric breast density. Results showed that VolparaDensity breast density assessment captures the potential masking risk of breast density more precisely compared to the widely used BI-RADS density categories. With a linear relationship with mammographic sensitivity, researchers conclude that volumetric breast density can be used to more accurately determine the effect of density on masking compared to BI-RADS density categories.

In the scientific exhibit, “Optimisation of the Selection of Women with an Increased Risk of a Masked Tumor for Supplementary Screening” (SSQ20-09 – Thursday, December 3, 11:50 am-12 noon) researchers from Nijmegen investigated methods to identify women with density patterns associated with a high masking risk. Researchers used Volpara Density Maps to look at optimal ways of selecting women for supplementary screening. Results suggest that the most effective measure was related to dense breast tissue over 1 cm thick.

Volpara Density Maps were also used by Nijmegen researchers to help identify women at risk of a masked cancer in the scientific exhibit, “How Can We Identify Women at Risk for a Masked Cancer, Who May Benefit from Supplemental Screening?” (SST01-07 – Friday, December 4, 11:30-11:40 am). Results demonstrated that novel masking risk measures based on Volpara Density Maps are a promising additional tool for identifying women at high risk for a masked cancer.

Volumetric Breast Density and Interval Cancers

In the presentation “Volumetric Breast Density a Strong Predictor of Interval Cancer Risk” (SSK01-09 – Wednesday, December 2, 11:50 am-12 noon in the Arie Crown Theater) Dr Destounis of EWBC presents results of a study to evaluate which patient factors might best predict the risk of being diagnosed with an interval cancer. Results demonstrated that VolparaDensity’s volumetric breast density is a strong independent predictor of interval cancer risk. While visual assessments of BI-RADS density categories were also associated with interval cancer risk, volumetric methods were stronger predictors and due to its continuous nature can be used to better identify women who might benefit from adjunctive screening.

In “Assessing Breast Cancer Masking Risk with Automated Analysis in Full Field Digital Mammography” (SSK01-05 – Wednesday, December 2, 11-11.10 am in the Arie Crown Theater), researchers from Europe looked at combining Volpara Density Grades and mammographic texture to evaluate and show the increased risk of developing interval cancers for certain women.

Other studies evaluating the use of volumetric breast density include: “Breast Density Variation Across a Screening Program” (BR246-SD-TUB1 – Tuesday, December 1, 12:45-1:15 pm) from St Georges University in London, UK; and “Consistency of Density Categories over Multiple Screening Rounds using Volumetric Breast Density” (SST01-04 – Friday, December 4, 11-11.10 am) from Nijmegen.

Monitoring Patient Specific Dose during Screening

In the scientific exhibit, “Do Women with Dense Breasts Have Higher Radiation Exposure during Screening Mammography?” (BR271-SD-THA4- Thursday, December 3, 12:15-12:45 pm); researchers from the University of Virginia used VolparaDose to evaluate the association of such patient factors as patient age, weight, height, compression thickness, radiographic technique and breast density with dose. Results showed that increasing breast thickness had the greatest impact on actual patient dose and that breast density had a minor impact.

As the use of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) grows, aaccurate and consistent assessment of breast density from both digital mammography and DBT data is important for proper patient management. In the scientific exhibit, “Volumetric Breast Density and Mean Glandular Dose Estimated from Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Projections and Digital Mammograms” (BR261-SD-WEB2 – Wednesday, December 2, 12:45-1:15 pm) researchers from the University of Malaya compared the volumetric breast density and mean glandular dose (MGD) assessments on DBT projections and digital mammograms acquired on a tomosynthesis system. Results showed the density and dose results obtained from the DBT projections agreed well with those obtained from digital mammograms.

VolparaDensity is in use at breast imaging centers worldwide to help radiologists objectively assess density from both digital mammography and tomosynthesis data and to determine which women would benefit from additional screening. Highly correlated to breast MR assessments, VolparaDensity is a reliable tool that automatically generates an objective measurement of volumetric breast density correlated to the ACR (American College of Radiology) BI-RADS breast density categories. To date, more than 7-million women have had their breast density analyzed using VolparaDensity.
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About Volpara Solutions
Founded with the goal of helping radiologists give women the most accurate information possible regarding their breast health, Volpara Solutions is the wholly owned sales and marketing arm of Volpara Health Technologies Limited of New Zealand (formerly Matakina Technology). Cleared by the FDA, HealthCanada, the TGA, and CE-marked, VolparaDensity provides an objective volumetric measure of breast density from both digital mammography and tomosynthesis data. VolparaDensity is part of a suite of quantitative breast imaging tools built on the Volpara Solutions algorithm that allows for personalized measurements of density, patient-specific x-ray dose, breast compression, breast positioning and other factors designed to provide critical insight for breast imaging workflow. For more information, visit

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