Can Volume Sweep Imaging with Ultrasound be a Viable Option for Breast Cancer Screening in Underserved Countries?

In a recent video interview, Thomas Marini, MD discussed the need for ultrasound access to facilitate breast cancer screening in underserved populations and the potential utility of volume sweep imaging, a handheld ultrasound technique that requires minimal training and has a high rate of agreement with conventional ultrasound on BI-RADS assessments.

Recently published research suggests an emerging handheld ultrasound technique could be beneficial for breast cancer screening in underserved populations with limited or no access to conventional imaging modalities.

The study, published in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, assessed volume sweep imaging (VSI) of 170 palpable breast lumps with a handheld ultrasound probe (Butterfly iQ, Butterfly Network). The handheld VSI ultrasound scans were performed by medical students who received less than two hours of training on the VSI protocol and had no prior ultrasound training, according to the study.

The researchers found that the VSI handheld ultrasound technique had a 97 percent sensitivity for breast masses and an 87 percent agreement with conventional ultrasound devices on Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) assessments.

In a recent video interview, Thomas Marini, MD, discussed the VSI technique, the study findings, and the global need for increased access to ultrasound imaging.

“The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) estimates that two-thirds of people in the world don’t have access to any form of medical imaging and that 70 to 80 percent of their conditions can be diagnosed with basic modalities like ultrasound and X-ray,” noted Dr. Marini, who is affiliated with the University of Rochester Medical Center.

For more insights from Dr. Marini, watch the video below.