Tech Highlight: Tomosynthesis Unit

Posted on July 2012

Digital tomosynthesis, the newest technology available to detect breast cancer early, was acquired by UW early in 2011. Drs. Beth Burnside and Guang-Hong Chen are the lead researchers working with this unit.

In tomosynthesis, the breast is positioned and compressed in the same way as for a mammogram. The x-ray tube moves in an arc around the breast while multiple images are taken during the 5-10 second examination. Then the information is sent to a computer, where it is assembled to produce a 3D image.

This view promises to decrease the frequency of false positive examinations resulting from superimposition of normal structures commonly encountered on 2D digital mammography.