Unlike other modalities in breast imaging, breast ultrasound is very operator dependent. Proper characterization and management of breast lesions depends on the knowledge and skill of the radiologist performing the exam. Breast ultrasound optimization continues to evolve as the technology of ultrasound machines improves. The American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) program requirements for graduate medical education in diagnostic radiology recently updated requirements to include competency in ultrasound physics, knobology, and image generation. As trainees are held to high ultrasound optimization standards, practicing radiologists who perform breast ultrasound exams must keep up to date on current breast ultrasound optimization techniques to avoid mischaracterizing and mismanaging breast ultrasound findings. In this paper, ultrasound optimization techniques, including patient positioning, transducer frequency, transducer contact and pressure, depth, gain, focus, tissue harmonic imaging, spatial compounding, dynamic range, speed of sound imaging, Doppler evaluation, and elastography will be described. Multiple ultrasound case examples will be used to illustrate application of these skills. After reading this paper, the reader will be able to apply these techniques to their own breast ultrasound practice, improving characterization and management of breast lesions in their patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging