Positioning and Clinical Image Deficiencies
Cancers at the chest wall may not be visualized if breast tissue is missing from the image
The mammographer's goal is to capture the best clinical images while providing a positive patient experience.
One of the most challenging disciplines in medical imaging, mammographers face a multitude of challenges with positioning. The patient's breast type, anatomy, physical limitations, and even their emotional state can cause even the most experienced technologist to fall short of ACR critical positioning criteria including proper visualization of the nipple, position of the pectoralis major, pectoral-nipple distance, inframammary fold, and adequate coverage of all breast quadrants.
Every millimeter counts™ when looking for clusters of micro-calcifications. Bella Blankets® protective coverlets for mammography provide event the most experienced mammography technologist a helping hand in capturing more breast tissue on the clinical images.
In a clinical study, 58 patient images using Bella Blankets were compared to prior year images (where no protective coverlet had been used) to determine if more breast tissue was acquired with Bella Blankets. The results presented significant improvements in positioning:
- 77% of patients had increased tissue acquisition
- When measuring the PNL in both views, the average increase was 0.41 cm
- 48% of patients showed improved visualization of pectoralis muscle
- Visualization of retroglandular tissue went from 86% PY (prior year) to 96% CY (current year)
- Visualization of IMF as “open” went from 67% PY to 87% CY
Using Bella Blankets aligns with proper positioning initiatives to support MQSA’s EQUIP guidelines. Bella Blankets’ FDA 510(k) clearance applies to all mammography imaging equipment. Using Bella Blankets during a mammogram is essentially the same average glandular dose as no coverlet on the receptor plate.1
1Gerald J. Randall, M.S. (DABR) (Certified Licensed Medical Physicist), "Mammo Protective Coverlets Testing", March 3, 2017.