Harmonic Imaging:Breast Cysts

ARRS: Harmonic Imaging Identifies Hard-To-See Breast Cysts [04/30/2001; Doctor's Guide]

SEATTLE, WA -- April 30, 2001 -- Breast harmonic imaging, a new ultrasound technique, can be successfully used to diagnose hard-to-see breast cysts.

A study shows this technique could eliminate the need for some biopsies. A study of 30 patients with 117 breast cysts found that harmonic imaging provides higher resolution and better detail of small cysts or cysts that are deeper in the breast than conventional ultrasound, says Derek Muradali, MD, of the University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario.

The patients in the study underwent a conventional ultrasound examination and a harmonic imaging examination. Two radiologists reviewed both sets of images and found-- in 80 percent of the cases-- that harmonic images were "superior to conventional ultrasound," says Dr. Muradali. The radiologists did not know which images were conventional and which were harmonic when they made their assessment, adds Dr. Muradali.

"Harmonic imaging is now available on some ultrasound machines, and we just simply flip a switch on the machine to change to the harmonic image," says Dr. Muradali. Harmonic imaging has been used in the past, but it is only recently that linear transducers (the probes) used in breast ultrasound have become available for use in harmonic imaging, notes Dr. Muradali.


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