Waukesha, Wis.-based GE Healthcare has introduced new digital mammography technology to enable earlier detection and diagnosis of cancer in the densest parts of breast tissue. The Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved the technology.

The SenoBright Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography technology works like the rapid flashes of a digital camera to reduce red-eye in photographs. It uses X-rays at multiple energies to create two separate exposures. Resulting images illuminate and highlight areas were there is angiogenesis, which is the growth of small blood vessels potentially related to the presence of cancer.

Patients receive an intravenous injection of standard iodine contrast agent before undergoing a five-minute digital mammography examination. The Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography images are acquired in familiar views so they can be easily correlated with standard results.

Gustave Roussy Cancer Institute in Villejuif, France was a pilot site. Clinical studies of the technology show that for every 100 cancers there is the potential to find 13 more, six more benign lesions out of 100 can be correctly classified and 19 more patients out of 100 without cancer can be sent home, according to the vendor.

--Joseph Goedert


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