Fortschr Röntgenstr 2017; 189(01): 39-48
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-119450
Breast
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Is Individualizing Breast Compression during Mammography useful? – Investigations of pain indications during mammography relating to compression force and surface area of the compressed breast

Article in several languages: English | deutschKatarzyna Feder1, Jens-Holger Grunert2
  • 1Centre for Radiology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover
  • 2Radiology Practice Georgstraße, Hannover
Further Information

Publication History

15 January 2016

02 October 2016

Publication Date:
21 December 2016 (online)

Abtract

Purpose The aim of this paper is to determine how the presence of pain during mammographic compression could be reduced. To this end, we examine its relationship with compression force, surface-area of the compressed breast, breast density (ACR) and former operations.

Materials and Methods In 199 women 765 mammograms were performed. Women were asked to rate the level of pain on a scale of 0 – 10 (0: no, 10: highest pain). The surface-area of the breast under compression captured by the mammograms was measured using planimetry. 52 of the 199 women were asked to identify the area of the upper body with the highest level of pain.

Results The thickness of the compressed breast was 65.2 % of the uncompressed breast at a force of 10 daN (57.8 % at 15 daN). When the force was increased from 10 daN to 15 daN, the average glandular dose (AGD) declined by 17 %. Tolerance of compression was associated with the size of the breast. More than 50 % of the mammograms with a small compression less than 9 daN were associated with higher level of pain. In the oblique projection, 60 % of the women specified the axilla as the area of maximum pain.

Conclusion Women with larger breasts tolerated a greater force of compression. This implies a need for individualised examination depending on the size of the breast. Women with increased pain susceptibility terminated the compression early regardless of a small compression less than 9 daN. More than 50 % of the women identified areas outside breast as especially painful. Therefore, during examination, the areas around the breast should also be taken into consideration in order to minimize unnecessary discomfort.

Key Points

  • With increased mammographic compression force, the effectiveness of breast thickness reduction declined.

  • A compression force of 15 daN enabled an additional reduction by 17 % in average glandular dose (AGD) compared to 10 daN.

  • Tolerance of increased compression force was related to breast surface area.

  • Women with increased susceptibility of pain terminated the compression at a low force of less than 9 daN

  • Pain relating to the mammographic procedure was identified outside the breast by more than 50 % of the women.

Citation Format

  • Feder K, Grunert JH. Is Individualizing Breast Compression during Mammography useful? – Investigations of pain indications during mammography relating to compression force and surface area of the compressed breast. Fortschr Röntgenstr 2017; 189: 39 – 48