Tomosynthesis – New Technologies in the Breast Imaging Unit

21, Feb 2020

​Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov) recently received new technologies that enable the improvement of breast cancer diagnosis, in addition to the conventional standard mammography.

The average sensitivity of mammography for the detection of malignant tumors in the breast is 79%.  But in women with a dense breast structure, the mammography sensitivity decreases significantly.  In recent years, in order to reduce failure to diagnose breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue, tomosynthesis was developed.

Tomosynthesis is a three-dimensional mammography technique whereby several images of the breast at various angles are captured.  It is, in fact, a mammogram in slices. The technology enables the identification of lesions in the breast without overlapping of the adjacent breast tissue, as occurs in a regular mammogram test which is two-dimensional.

If a finding that requires further investigation is identified, sampled by the tomosynthesis test only, a tomosynthesis guided biopsy can be performed. This option exists only in our Mammography Unit.

Another technology, which in certain cases helps to diagnose tumors in breasts with dense tissue, is the contrast enhanced mammography.  In this procedure, contrast agent is injected into a vein and two minutes later the mammography is performed in the familiar manner. In every position two consecutive images are taken, the first in low energy and the second in high energy; and an image of the breast is acquired that highlights the areas where there was an increased absorption of the contrast agent, which may be a suspected tumor.

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