Using ultrasound tomography to identify the distributions of density throughout the breast.

Author(s): Sak M,  Duric N,  Littrup P,  Sherman ME,  Gierach GL

Journal: Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng

Date: 2016 Apr

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): BGCRG

PubMed ID: 28943704

PMC ID: PMC5609507

Abstract: Women with high breast density are at increased risk of developing breast cancer. Breast density has usually been defined using mammography as the ratio of fibroglandular tissue to total breast area. Ultrasound tomography (UST) is an emerging modality that can also be used to measure breast density. UST creates tomographic sound speed images of the patient's breast which is useful as sound speed is directly proportional to tissue density. Furthermore, the volumetric and quantitative information contained in the sound speed images can be used to describe the distribution of breast density. The work presented here measures the UST sound speed density distributions of 165 women with negative screening mammography. Frequency distributions of the sound speed voxel information were examined for each patient. In a preliminary analysis, the UST sound speed distributions were averaged across patients and grouped by various patient and density-related factors (e.g., age, body mass index, menopausal status, average mammographic breast density). It was found that differences in the distribution of density could be easily visualized for different patient groupings. Furthermore, findings suggest that the shape of the distributions may be used to identify participants with varying amounts of dense and non-dense tissue.