2D or 3D? Which do you prefer?


Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) is gaining traction as an ideal breast cancer screening tool.  Traditional mammography is a 2D image of the breast, and has been used as a standard screening tool for decades.  DBT improves on the 2D version by taking multiple images from different angles and creating a 3D representation of the breast.  The 3D representation allows physicians to view tissue from any angle and depth making it easier to identify lesions, giving the patient a more reliable diagnosis. Lesions can also be detected earlier, giving the patient an earlier start on treatment.  Recently, DBT received the support of the American College of Radiology and the FDA due to research showing its benefits over traditional mammography.

While this is great for patient care, IT staffs are going to be challenged with the explosive data growth.  Traditional mammograms are typically 30MB while a DBT is 350MB, representing over an eleven-fold increase.  In the US, there are about 39 million mammography procedures each year.  If just half of them were done using BDT, it would represent over 6,500 terabytes of data each year.  Overall healthcare data is growing at 48% a year (typically doubling their storage needs every two years); new technologies such as DBT are contributing to the growth.

EMC® Isilon® helps healthcare IT staffs cope with the growth due to its node based scale-out architecture and the simplicity of a single file system.  An IT staff can easily and quickly scale its storage infrastructure: simply plug in four cables, two power cords, and in about 60 seconds the resources of the new node are available.  There is no downtime or need to remap any application’s access to the storage. Seamless growth without downtime means no impact on patient care. That’s one of the reasons why seven out of the top ten US Best Hospitals for Gynecology use EMC Isilon.

Are you interested in hearing from our customers? Join us live on 2/23 with McKesson and Radiology Regional Center, as we discuss The Promises and Implications of Digital Breast Tomosyntheis and check out our Healthcare resource page.

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One thought on “2D or 3D? Which do you prefer?

  1. At the recent Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Dec 2015, DBT was discussed at length. Several studies were presented. In summary, DBT decreased recall rates, increased cancer detection and PPVs (Positive Predictive Value) over time — one study presented 33,000 patients screened over 3 years. Another study suggested FFDM (Full Field Digital Mammography) in combination with DBT for better outcomes.

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