A synthetic mammogram image is a 2D image created from the same dataset the digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) slices are based on. This means that only one exposure is needed to acquire both a 3D DBT and a 2D synthetic mammogram, translating into substantial dose savings and reduced acquisition time – compared to when DBT is acquired as adjunct to a conventional mammogram.
The image processing is designed in such a way that the synthesized 2D image looks similar to a conventional digital mammogram. That is why the synthetic mammogram smoothly blends into the reading workflow and also facilitates comparing current and prior examinations.
The use of a synthetic mammogram
Up until now and independent of the manufacturer, the use of a synthetic mammogram is only approved in combination with 3D to substitute the digital mammogram in a tomo screening examination. It is not approved to replace a digital mammogram as a 2D standalone. Also, standards still need to be defined: All major manufacturers offer synthetic mammograms, but they all differ because the image acquisition (e.g. narrow- or wide-angle system) and the post-processing reconstruction algorithms used are different.
Are you interested in the role and use of synthetic mammograms? Dr. Maria Bernathova from the Medical University Vienna, Austria talked about the clinical performance of a synthetic mammogram and its role for screening procedures at the ECR 2017. Click the video below and listen to her presentation!
At the ECR 2017, Prof. Dr. Chantal Van Ongeval from the University Hospital of Leuven, Belgium also talked about the importance of synthetic mammograms. You can watch the interview here:
About High Definition Breast Tomosynthesis
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