An ongoing study has said that elastography when added to breast ultrasound can help reduce unnecessary breast biopsies.
According to the American Cancer Society, elastography helps distinguish cancerous breast lesions from benign results.
Lead author, Stamatia V. Destounis, M.D., a diagnostic radiologist at Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, a large, community-based breast imaging center in Rochester, N.Y, said: "There's a lot of room to improve specificity with ultrasound, and elastography can help us do that. It's an easy way to eliminate needle biopsy for something that's probably benign."
Dr. Destounis added: "You can perform elastography at the same time as handheld ultrasound and view the images on a split screen, with the two-dimensional ultrasound image on the left and the elastography image on the right."
Andrea L. Arieno, B.S., Melissa N. Skolny, M.S., Renee Morgan, R.T., Patricia Somerville, M.D., and Philip F. Murphy, M.D. also contributed to the research.
The study was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
Also at RSNA 2009, Dr. Smitha Putturaya, M.D., F.R.C.R., presented findings from an ongoing, seven-year study on breast elastography conducted at the Charing Cross Hospital Breast Unit in London, U.K. Dr. Putturaya and colleagues found that using elastography as an adjunct to routine breast ultrasound safely decreases the number of biopsies of benign lesions and offers the potential to map tumors more precisely.