Breast Density Changes the Breast-imaging Landscape

Cristen Bolan, MS


Appl Radiol. 2013;42(3):20-25. 

In This Article

Mammograms Plus Adjunct Exams

An estimated 40% of all women undergoing screening mammography have dense breasts, according to the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN).[4]

"There is the issue of masking breast cancer because of the density of the breast. Everyone agrees there is greater risk for breast cancer in women with dense breasts," said Dennis McDonald, Medical Director for breast imaging for the Sutter Medical Center Sacramento, Sacramento, CA.

To address the problem, the center implemented Volpara objective breast-density measurement software, a breast-density assessment tool designed to improve early detection among women with dense breasts.

Volpara automatically generates objective, automatic measurement of volumetric breast density values under the Volpara Density Grade (VDG®), a grading system that correlates with the American College of Radiology BI-RADS Density Grading Classifications. Volpara is FDA cleared for all digital mammography units, and integration with other digital mammography systems, CAD systems, and mammography reporting solutions are also underway.

"We purchased the Volpara software to give a more objective estimation of the breast density because it's a volumetric measurement. In our experience, there is really good correlation with our visual interpretation; it lent some consistency to the whole process of density determination," said Dr. McDonald.