Target Compression Range
Mammographic compression is often monitored using the compression force (in Newtons) as reported in the DICOM header by the manufacturer. Some researchers have suggested that compression pressure—the force applied per unit of contact area— may be a better metric to standardize mammographic compression because it takes breast size into account.
The following formula is used to determine the average pressure applied in kilopascals during each image acquisition:
Pressure (kPa) = [Compression Force (N)/Contact Area of the Breast (mm2)]/1000
Compression force is extracted from the DICOM header and the contact area of the breast is determined by TruPressure.
Volpara defines the target pressure used as a range from 7 kPa to 15 kPa. This “target compression range” is based on a standardized pressure of 10 kPa, which has been shown to optimize clinical performance and minimize patient discomfort.
The pressure outputs of TruPressure are intended to be used as quality assurance metrics for mammographic compression.
Mechanical standardisation of mammographic compression using Volpara software
“Real-time compression pressure standardisation may benefit examination consistency. The relationship between breast volume, contact area, compression force and resultant compression pressure may aid in developing an objective compression protocol for clinical practice.”
Serwan, Matthews, Davies, Chau
“When we showed the Volpara data, the technologist understood that as a result of under-compression, her patients were getting more dose. She is now re-trained and in line with appropriate compression.”
– Michael J. Masone R.T. (R)(M)(MR)(S), R.D.M.S., Director, Capital Imaging Associates