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Breast imaging products help with coronavirus backlog

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | July 27, 2020
Women's Health
From the July 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing breast cancer screening to the back burner for many patients, scanner and software manufacturers have more reason than ever to bring products to the market that make scans faster and more comfortable, and helping radiologists manage their growing worklists.

At the same time, breast CT is emerging as a modality for breast cancer diagnosis, providing 3D images with shorter scan times and at a lower cost than breast MR.

Here’s a look at what’s new in the last year from more than a dozen companies.

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AB-CT — Advanced Breast-CT GmbH has developed a breast-CT scanner, nu:view, which was released with CE mark clearance in June 2018. The company plans to apply for FDA clearance as well.

“The American market is a big market for us, but we need to undergo a Premarket Approval (PMA) for the FDA clearance” said Ludger Hajduk, head of customer relationship management for AB-CT.

The company has been building awareness of the technology, which provides real 3D breast imaging without compression, at trade shows such as RSNA.

One of nu:view’s key technologies comes from its detector, Hajduk said. The concavely shaped single-photon counting hybrid detector is made of cadmium telluride (CdTe), a highly sensitive material that converts X-rays directly into electrical signals, providing high image quality with low radiation dose.

“Scan times are in the range of seven to 12 seconds, while the gantry rotates around the breast in (a) downwards-oriented spiral trajectory”, Hajduk said.

In Europe, the scanner is in use for diagnostic purposes both with and without contrast media enhancement.

“One of the strengths of nu:view is both the display of microcalcifications and an excellent soft tissue delineation”, Hajduk said.

There are no restrictions regarding age or gender of the patient, and the system is also suitable for patients with small breasts, dense breasts, mastodynia or implants, Hajduk said.

“The compelling reason for women is doing the scan without any compression,” Hajduk said.

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