Dual sided automated ultrasound system in the mammographic geometry
This paper reports design and performance of an ultrasound system for automated breast imaging from both sides of the breast in standard mammographic views. A commercial mammographic system was modified to allow compression paddles on both sides of the breast and scanning of two commercial ultrasound transducers over those paddles. The paddle surface is a thin mesh providing negligible ultrasound wave distortion and some permeability to the acoustic coupling gel or lotion. Initial studies on four volunteers show marked improvement in image quality and coverage of the breast over imaging from either side alone. Visual comparisons of various simple methods of combining and displaying the image volumes from the two sides are presented. Various artifacts present in the images without speed of sound and attenuation corrections are illustrated, and methods of combining these image volumes with those of other breast screening modes and modalities are discussed.