'The Development of a Standardised Positioning and Compression Protocol for Use Within UK Breast Screening and Symptomatic Services' by Muniratu Osmanu
Background: Mammography is associated with pain/discomfort and this is mainly due to positioning and the compression applied to the breast. The aim of the research is to develop an evidence-based positioning protocol that may help reduce pain/discomfort experienced during mammogram. The angle of imaging plate on side-to-side mammogram projection plays a vital role in the distribution of pressure through the breast. When the imaging plate angle is perpendicular to the sternum during compression, there should be an even pressure balance and increased breast coverage. This could result into a less painful procedure.
Method: A phantom study was conducted on a model torso with breast attachment. A digital inclinometer was used to take the angle of model’s sternum before it was positioned for MLO. Xsensor pressure mat was secured to the surfaces of the compression paddle and imaging plate to read and record pressure distribution applied on the breast phantom. Compression of 10daN was applied to breast phantom and pressure readings and breast footprint were recorded with the imaging plate at various angles in the multiples of 5 from 400 to 700. Numerical pressure data recorded on the mat was transferred onto Excel and analysed.
Results: Imaging plate angles at 550 to 650 produced a more even pressure and area balance. The recorded sternal angle of model was 600.Conclusion: When the imaging plate angle is parallel or close to the angle of the sternum, there is an even distribution of pressure and area. A study in human female volunteers using this method is in progress.