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Imaging breast density: Established and emerging modalities

  • Author(s): Chen, JH
  • Gulsen, G
  • Su, MY
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. Mammographic density has been proven as an independent risk factor for breast cancer. Women with dense breast tissue visible on a mammogram have a much higher cancer risk than women with little density. A great research effort has been devoted to incorporate breast density into risk prediction models to better estimate each individual’s cancer risk. In recent years, the passage of breast density notification legislation in many states in USA requires that every mammography report should provide information regarding the patient’s breast density. Accurate definition and measurement of breast density are thus important, which may allow all the potential clinical applications of breast density to be implemented. Because the two-dimensional mammography-based measurement is subject to tissue overlapping and thus not able to provide volumetric information, there is an urgent need to develop reliable quantitative measurements of breast density. Various new imaging technologies are being developed. Among these new modalities, volumetric mammographic density methods and threedimensional magnetic resonance imaging are the most well studied. Besides, emerging modalities, including different x-ray–based, optical imaging, and ultrasound-based methods, have also been investigated. All these modalities may either overcome some fundamental problems related to mammographic density or provide additional density and/or compositional information. The present review article aimed to summarize the current established and emerging imaging techniques for the measurement of breast density and the evidence of the clinical use of these density methods from the literature.

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