Apr 09, 2019

What do radiologists need for multimodality breast imaging?

Medical Imaging & workflows 4 min read last updated on: Mar 20, 2020

With the rise of multimodality breast imaging, mammography displays need to support consistent, calibrated color and present moving images clearly and smoothly. A display that ticks these boxes will ensure precise 2D/3D mammography images as well as perfect breast MRIs and ultrasounds. It’s what breast radiologists need for confident screening and diagnosis of breast cancer.

Challenges of a multimodality workflow

In a multimodality workflow, radiologists need to have all images from multiple modalities – screening and diagnostic – on one display system. This implies that radiologists need to be able to view 2D as well as 3D mammography, including color annotations on the same screen.

At the same time, they should be able to view diagnostic color modalities, such as breast ultrasound and breast MR, too. For that, you need a special color display that guarantees consistent and calibrated color.

In addition, viewing 3D mammography (also known as digital breast tomosynthesis or DBT) requires special display technologies. DBT studies consist of multiple images of the breast, which means radiologists must be able to scroll or cine through these images without motion blur.

In order to ensure confident and comfortable viewing of every breast modality on the same screen, radiologists need the best of the best in display technology. That’s why we created a checklist of mammography display ‘must-haves’. A breast imaging display system that ticks all these boxes will support accurate diagnoses and improved workflow.

Checklist: mammography display ‘must-haves’

  1. Calibrated colors

    Combining mammograms with color modalities such as breast ultrasound and MR has proven to improve breast cancer detection rate1. To ensure accurate interpretation of color images, you need a color display that shows consistent, perceptually linear color. This is guaranteed with Barco’s patented SteadyColor™ calibration technology. It makes the colors in breast images look cleaner and smoother. In fact, Barco proposed the Color Standard Display Function (CSDF) as an extension to the DICOM GSDF. This new standard will help ensure a high level of consistency for medical images in color. 

    To optimize reading of moving and changing images, Barco developed RapidFrame™ technology, enabling higher detection of microcalcifications, even when scrolling quickly through a stack of images.

  2. In-focus moving images

    Did you know it is more challenging to detect microcalcifications in moving images? Barco displays have proven to ensure 10% higher detection while scrolling digital breast tomosynthesis images compared to traditional mammography displays2. Our patented RapidFrame™ technology counters almost every tomo challenge, ensuring crisp and in-focus moving images with no blurring. Interested to see how it works? Watch our Technology Insight video here

    Brightness boosters such as SpotView™ enable focused observation during readings, especially helpful when viewing breast microcalcifications.

  3. Brightness boosters

    Display luminance and visibility of small details are undoubtedly intertwined. That’s why Barco developed a special tool called SpotView™ that helps increase reading accuracy and reduce reading time.  SpotView provides multiple shapes for image analysis and comparison. The ‘spot’ boosts luminance in a region of interest to increase visibility of small details.

    A recent study reveals that radiologists can increase their reading accuracy by 6% when using SpotView.3 At the same time, radiologists can reduce the time spent on reading exams by no less than 16%3, so they can read more exams each day.

    In addition, because SpotView boosts luminance and enhances contrast in a unique way, it may be possible to reduce the radiation dose3 during mammograms, while still ensuring accurate diagnoses. Find out how to use SpotView here.

  4. Additional vertical resolution

    Mammography displays with additional vertical resolution can present more of the breast image on the screen. This will save you a number of clicks per day when viewing images at 1:1 or 100% size, as recommended by the ACR. Additional vertical display resolution leads to less panning and zooming.

  5. Uniform colors

    Colors should not only be consistent, they should be uniform as well. Several factors can cause non-uniformity. Variations in LCD displays, LED backlights and even optical materials can all be a cause. Pick a display that comes with built-in technologies, such as Barco’s Color PPU™ that improves the contrast-to-noise ratio, over the entire screen surface. 
  6. Exceptional image quality

    Local contrast, luminance, uniformity and viewing angle are typical display characteristics that define image quality. Display luminance should meet ACR guidelines and be constantly bright to create the sharpest image while reducing eye fatigue. And with more light, radiologists can see more detail more quickly. Needless to say, the luminance should be stable over time. For example, there is a 30% increased detection probability of microcalcifications at increased display luminance levels with Barco’s I-Luminate™ technology.4

    Watch how QAWeb has helped Piedmont Healthcare decrease the workflow from fifteen hours of manual calibration to 10 minutes.

  7. Automated QA & compliance

    Medical regulations are growing around the world. For ultimate peace of mind, Barco’s mammography displays come with software to manage quality and automate compliance with these growing regulations (e.g. MQSA, EUREF, FDA, DICOM, JESRA…). This process can be done remotely so all medical requirements are met - even when your hospital has multiple sites located across different regions - without the need to interrupt radiologists’ workflow. 
    Find out how Barco’s QAWeb ensures compliance in this video.

The standard of care

Barco’s Nio Color 5MP and Coronis Uniti® displays are specifically designed for multimodality breast imaging. They are unique in their representation of calibrated colors and grayscales and remarkable in their 2D and 3D capabilities. In fact, Coronis Uniti has proven to increase detection of small details in breast images by up to 30%!4.

Interested to know more? Find out how our medical display systems help radiologists see the smallest clinical details, make swift and confident diagnoses, and enable better health outcomes at www.barco.com/diagnostic


  1. Yale University. "Breast ultrasound and cancer detection rates increased under new laws." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2019. 
  2. Marchessoux, C., et al. (2011). Validation of New Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Medical Display. Proceedings of SPIE, 7966, 79660R, 2011.
  3. Krupinski, E. (2018). Reducing Radiation Dose in Digital Mammography by Increasing Display Luminance. Proceedings of SIIM, 2018.
  4. Kimpe, T. R. & Xthona, A. (2012). Quantification of Detection Probability of Microcalcifications at Increased Display Luminance Levels. Breast Imaging, Springer 7361, 490-497. 2012.

Stay in touch

Receive the latest news about our service & products 

we will not share your e-mail address with 3rd parties 

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.