COMPREHENSIVE BREAST ASSESSMENT SYSTEM IN MEDICAL IMAGING
Publication Date: 2005-Mar-24
The IP.com Prior Art Database
In an embodiment, a comprehensive breast assessment system includes performing examination of an MRI component first, to allow identification of worrisome regions within the breast. The images obtained are presented to the operator for immediate visual inspection. An MRS component of the exam is then performed on each region that was identified on the images for further investigation.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 This invention generally relates to a breast assessment system, and more particularly to a comprehensive breast assessment system using combined magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) techniques.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 MRI techniques with the use of paramagnetic contrast agents have achieved very high sensitivity for breast cancer detection. The sensitivity of MRI for breast cancer is reported to be almost 100%. Unfortunately, the specificity of MRI is lower, ranging between 35-90%. Because many lesions detected using MRI cannot be detected using other imaging methods, an invasive diagnostic technique such as wire localization for surgery or core biopsy is required to provide a definitive diagnosis. For these lesions, the use of an additional MR-based method with higher specificity would be extremely valuable. Preliminary MR spectroscopy (MRS) results have been promising, with diagnostic specificity for hydrogen spectroscopy in vivo at 1.5T in the 83-100% range. It has been postulated that continued technological evolution of MRS in the breast would result in further improvements to the specificity of this technique.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Various embodiments of this invention provide a comprehensive assessment system for breast imaging. However, the embodiments are not limited and may be implemented in connection with other MRI/MRS applications such as MRS of nuclei of phosphorus.
 In general, this invention proposes a generalized approach to combining the MRI and MRS techniques in an optimized manner for use in the clinical setting, i.e. with particular attention paid to operator workflow, requirements for accurate registration of information from the separate techniques, and optimal display of the acquired data.
 In one embodiment the system includes performing examination of an MRI component first, to allow identification of worrisome regions within the breast. The images obtained are presented to the operator for immediate visual inspection. For example, the areas of particular concern are identified either by the operator(s) alone, or using a Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) algorithm.
 In an embodiment, the system provides the user with an ability to identify and delineate particular regions on the images for evaluation using the MRS component of the exam.
 In a further embodiment, an MRS component of the exam is then performed on each region that was identified on the images for further investigation. For example, the MRS component for each region may include either acquiring signal f...