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Innovative Mammography System Improves Patient Comfort

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 12 Jul 2017
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Image: The Senographe Pristina system (Photo courtesy of GE Healthcare).
Image: The Senographe Pristina system (Photo courtesy of GE Healthcare).
A new digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) system delivers superior diagnostic accuracy at the same low dose as a conventional mammography exam.

The GE Healthcare (GE, Little Chalfont, United Kingdom) Senographe Pristina system is a three dimensional (3D) DBT mammography platform that allows for excellent visualization of breast lesions without increasing the radiation dose. Tomosynthesis is based on ASIRDBT, an iterative reconstruction algorithm with a calcification artifact correction that delivers off-plane images superior to the traditional filtered back projection (FBP) algorithm. In addition, a specific slabbing algorithm renders calcifications as if each were in its optimal plane, making the images easy to read.

The Senographe Pristina was designed with technologist in mind. Space below the collimator is large, and wrap-over tube design makes it easier to position patients. The backspace is large enough to allow technologists to work without hitting their elbows when positioning the breast over the support. When positioning patients in medio-lateral-oblique (MLO), the tube head can be moved to a parked position away from the technologist’s head, clearing the upper space so that patients can be positioned without physical strain.

The console and gantry are ready to use within a few minutes of startup, without the need for complex calibration, and switching between 2D mammography and DBT can be made with just one click, thanks to pre-set default acquisition settings. The 2D image contrast can be modified on the fly, with a selection of six contrast levels available in order to accommodate user preferences. The acquisition console is also well aligned with other GE Healthcare products, so that the learning curve is minimal for those familiar with the GE Healthcare modus operandi.

Designed to make the patient experience more comfortable, the system comes with gentle, rounded corners on the image detector help reduce patient discomfort under the arms. Comfortable armrests replace the conventional handgrips that may cause tensing of the pectoral muscles, making it hard to properly position the tissue; in addition, the redesigned armrest allows women to gently support their arm during the exam in a relaxed position. And a self-compression tool helps give women a sense of control by allowing them to manually adjust the degree of breast compression.

“Senographe Pristina offers patients a reinvented mammography experience, one that had not significantly changed for the last 40 years. After having a mammogram on Senographe Pristina, women immediately recognize a pleasant difference: It’s a faster and quieter exam with greater comfort and less pain during compression,” said Kathy Schilling, MD, of Boca Raton Regional Hospital (FL, USA). “Our goal is for all our baseline patients to have their mammograms with this new technology, with the intent that it will help to dismiss any preconceived fears and encourage more compliance with annual screening.”

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