Feasibility and Acceptability of Stepwedge-Based Density Measurement

  • Michael Berks
  • Jennifer Diffey
  • Alan Hufton
  • Susan Astley
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4046)


A link between increased breast density, as visualised in mammograms, and increased risk of developing breast cancer has been established. Recently, a number of objective, quantitative methods for measuring breast density have been described. One such method requires a calibration object to be imaged alongside the breast. However, it is important that this should not interfere with the routine imaging process. In this paper, we investigate the amount of space in mammographic images which is not currently occupied by the breast or existing patient labels and markers, and which would therefore be available for imaging an additional calibration device. We do this with a view to estimating the likelihood of failure of the method, and also to determining whether, without detriment to the imaging process, a device could be permanently fixed to the breast support platform. We also examine the impact of markers attached to the compression plate on the visibility of breast tissue. The results show that our existing calibration device may be used successfully without interfering with the routine imaging process, although permanently fixing such a device may present problems in a small minority of cases, and we demonstrate that the number of cases which would fail can be reduced by using a smaller stepwedge.


Breast Density Digital Mammography Compression Plate Mammographic Image Breast Thickness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Berks
    • 1
  • Jennifer Diffey
    • 2
  • Alan Hufton
    • 2
  • Susan Astley
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Imaging Science and Biomedical Engineering, Stopford BuildingUniversity of ManchesterManchester
  2. 2.North Western Medical PhysicsChristie HospitalWithington, Manchester

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