- Philips announced the launch of an ultrasound product for breast assessment to make exams easier and faster for patients and physicians.
- The package combines advanced imaging, elastography to assess breast lesions and tissue stiffness, screening and biopsy tools and is available with the company’s EPIQ and Affiniti ultrasound systems.
- The technology is CE marked and has received 510(k) clearance from FDA.
Breast ultrasounds traditionally have been used after an X-ray mammogram has indicated the need for a woman to have a follow-up diagnostic test because lesions are suspected. Increasingly, ultrasounds now are also being used to screen for cancerous lesions that mammograms might miss. This is true especially for women with dense breast tissue that makes detection more of a challenge.
"The best way to increase the survival rate from breast cancer is to detect it early," Marcela Böhm-Vélez of Weinstein Imaging Associates in Pittsburgh, said in a statement. "For women with dense breasts, ultrasound can be very helpful in detecting masses not easily seen on the mammogram."
In a study of breast density published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 43.3% of women aged 40 to 74 had extremely dense breast tissue, Philips noted.
The company said its integrated ultrasound breast assessment reduces total exam time and the number of follow-up appointments required and eliminates the need for room or equipment changes. The technology combines four features:
- High-quality imaging through the PureWave eL18-4 ultra-broadband linear array transducer.
- Anatomical intelligence to streamline the workflow and preserve image quality during the breast exam. The tool includes visual mapping and annotation of the screened anatomy.
- ElastQ Imaging elastography using two wave methods to allow clinicians to rapidly assess a wide array of breast lesions and obtain more definitive information on tissue stiffness in the breast.
- New precision biopsy that allows physicians to perform more targeted procedures by reducing blind zones and improving needle reflections.