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Improved Ultrasonic Imaging of the Breast

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Annual summary rept. 1 Aug 2001-31 Jul 2005

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Ultrasonic imaging is currently used in the breast to distinguish between fluid filled cysts and solid masses, and more rarely, to differentiate between malignant and benign lesions. The utility of ultrasound is limited because microcalcifications MCs are not typically visible and because benign and malignant masses often exhibit only subtle image differences. We have invented a new technique that uses modified ultrasound equipment to form images of ultrasonic angular scatter. This method provides a new source of image contrast and should enhance the detectability of MCs and improve the differentiation of benign and malignant lesions. This method yields high resolution images with minimal statistical variability. We have formed images in tissue mimicking phantoms and found that angular scatter offers a new and useful source of image contrast. We have also initiated clinical studies and found that normal soft tissues exhibit significant variations in angular scatter. We have made significant technical advances in image acquisition and signal processing. In the past year we have implemented a new Synthetic Aperture approach to angular scatter imaging that yields significantly better resolution and contrast than earlier approaches. Improved visualization of MCs and benignmalignant differentiation would improve patient care by enhancing diagnosis and improving the localization of needle and core biopsy procedures. These advances may in turn reduce unneeded biopsies and improve biopsy accuracy.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Medical Facilities, Equipment and Supplies

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