Fujifilm to Debut 3D Mammography System

Mar 24, 2012
Takuya Otani, Nikkei Electronics & Digital Health Online
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Fujifilm Corp will release the "Real 3D Mammography," a medical imaging system that enables to see a mammographic image in 3D, March 26, 2012.

It will be sold by Fujifilm Medical Co Ltd. When combined with the "Amulet f," Fujifilm's digital X-ray equipment for breast cancer screening, the system enables to check a mammographic image in 3D.

Because the three-dimensional structures of breast tissues can be checked all at the same time, it is possible to determine if a tumor mass is in contact with a mammary gland as well as to measure the depth of microcalcification, Fujifilm said.

The standard price of the Real 3D Mammography is ¥15 million (approx US$181,950, excluding the Amulet f).

When a picture of a breast is taken with the Amulet f, it takes two images from different angles. Then, by displaying the two images on a special LCD monitor and using polarized glasses, it becomes possible to see a 3D image.

The special monitor is manufactured by combining two LCD monitors and a part called "half mirror." Though Fujifilm did not disclose the details of the monitor, it seems that the company employed a monitor that Eizo Nanao Corp announced in 2011.

When the Amulet f is used to take pictures, a patient is exposed to X-ray radiation twice. But, with Fujifilm's own methods of taking and processing images, the total amount of X-ray increases by only 30-50%, compared with a normal mammography, the company said.

The new medical imaging system was evaluated by Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine, which is a medical institute based in Dinslaken City, Germany. The institute conducted a comparative evaluation with two-dimensional images and confirmed that the system can reduce the percentage of patients required to take a closer examination after the first test. In Japan, Fujifilm is currently evaluating the system in cooperation with Japan's National Hospital Organization Nagoya Medical Center.

Fujifilm plans to exhibit the Real 3D Mammography in its booth at the International Technical Exhibition of Medical Imaging 2012 (ITEM 2012), which will take place from April 13 to 15, 2012, in Yokohama, Japan.