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Breast imaging displays enhance the eyes of the radiologist. It affects every decision she makes. To help you understand the benefits of certain specs and tools, I’ll tackle the most critical display factors: display luminance and screen resolution.

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The total resolution of a mammography display should be as close as possible to the various acquisition resolutions.

Acquisition versus display

To get a digital breast image, you need a machine that actually takes the images. We call these machines acquisition or imaging systems. The resolution of both the display and the acquisition system should match as closely as possible. This is also recommended by the American College of Radiology (ACR)1. It’s the only way for radiologists to detect every image detail on the screen. The table lists a selection of commonly used imaging systems and mammography displays. The table also shows the native resolution of these systems. 

More screen, fewer clicks

The resolution of mammography displays is vital in the correct representation and interpretation of mammograms. A high display resolution brings nothing but benefits. First of all, radiologists can see details much clearer. Secondly, more resolution helps radiologists with their workflow.

In mammography imaging, radiologists should view breast images in full size. If you have a more vertical resolution, it is easier to fit the whole breast image on the screen.

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more screen - fewer clicks
High-resolution mammography displays, with a resolution of 12 MP or two times 5.8MP, optimize mammography workflow by reducing the number of steps needed for viewing breast images full-size. A standard 5 MP display requires 4 steps (clicks) to read the image, a 5.8 MP display often requires only 2 steps.

Barco has a special mammography display, Coronis Uniti®, that supports flexible color multimodality imaging. It means 2D, breast tomosynthesis, ultrasound, and breast MR images can be laid out anywhere on the screen.

Fusion increases productivity

Besides screen size and resolution, the screen format is another important factor. A so-called Fusion format combines two stand-alone displays into one. This can be helpful for breast radiologists, in terms of reading productivity and ergonomics. With a Fusion display, radiologists can place breast images where they want on the screen. This makes it easier for them to compare multiple images side by side, be it mammograms, breast ultrasounds, or breast MRI.

Barco has a Fusion display that increases productivity up to 19%2 for radiologists' reading multiframe exams. What’s more, it helps to minimize head and eye strain because there’s no hindering bezel between displays. All images are neatly displayed in the radiologist’s optimal field of view. For a radiologist, this results in more comfortable reading sessions.

The higher the luminance, the bigger the chance to catch breast cancer3

Barco’s mammography displays increase the brightness of the image. This way, you can increase the detection of small details like microcalcifications by up to 30%4Barco displays come with a special clinical tool, called SpotView™. It increases luminance in a region of interest and dims the surrounding area. A recent study indicates that SpotView increases reading accuracy by up to 6.2%5. What’s more, it reduces reading time by up to 16%5.

If we can lower radiation dose without negatively impacting clinical results, we should. With higher luminance, it's possible to deliver good image quality even at a slightly lower dose. A recent clinical study, conducted by Dr. Elizabeth A. Krupinski, found that radiologists using SpotView were able to reduce radiation dose when taking X-ray images. Even though radiation was lower, they could make equally accurate diagnoses5.
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Because Spotview boosts display luminance to unseen levels, it speeds up a radiologist’s reading workflow.
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So what to look for when you buy a new mammography display? First of all, look further than a medical-grade design and resolution and luminance specs. Consider additional tools that can help to further increase the display brightness as it is proven to have a positive impact on breast cancer detection. Also, consider the impact of the mammography display on reading ergonomics and workflow. If your reading routine is comfortable and productive, it will benefit both doctor and patient.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

At Barco, we help the people behind cancer care to make life-changing decisions every day. We’ve seen them join forces to enable the best health outcomes for their patients. Please have a look at our recent campaign #ForYourMammo.

1. ACR–AAPM–SIIM PRACTICE PARAMETER FOR DETERMINANTS OF IMAGE QUALITY IN DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY, revised 2017 https://www.acr.org/-/media/ACR/Files/Practice-Parameters/Dig-Mamo.pdf
2. Weschler, M. (2012). 6MP Displays Offer Speed, Comfort Benefits. Auntminnie, 2012 Download PDF
3. Ferranti C. (2017) Academic Radiology: How Does the Display Luminance Level Affect Detectability of Breast Microcalcifications and Spiculated Lesions in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) Images? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28189505
4. Kimpe, T. R. & Xthona, A. (2012). Quantification of Detection Probability of Microcalcifications at Increased Display Luminance Levels. Breast Imaging, Springer 7361, 490-497. 2012 https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-31271-7_63

5. Krupinski, E. (2018). Reducing Radiation Dose in Digital Mammography by Increasing Display Luminance. Proceedings of SIIM, 2018 https://cdn.ymaws.com/siim.org/resource/resmgr/siim2018/abstracts/18quality-Krupinski.pdf

Speak to Barco Mammo Specialist