Up the creek without a paddle
- G Baxter1
© Current Science Ltd 2000
Published: 1 October 2000
In mammography compression is essential for various reasons: (1) scatter reduction; (2) dose reduction (3) improved image sharpness; (4) to maintain a uniform film density; and (5) to improve the separation of the breast tissue structures.
Localised compression or "paddle views" are used to demonstrate whether a lesion has ill-defined or well-defined borders, and also to demonstrate whether a lesion represents significant architectural distortion or is a superimposition of normal breast tissue.
With compression, the whole breast will be compressed only as much as its least compressible part but, by substituting a smaller compression plate, pressure can then be applied to a smaller volume.
How many times has a radiographer been told to see if they can "lose" or "squash" a lesion out? However, can you "lose" a lesion under spot compression that is really there? This radiographer believes "yes" and will demonstrate that certain lesions can be compressed and appear to disappear.