Imaging the breast with EIS: an initial study of exam consistency.

Physiological measurement

PubMedID: 11876237

Kerne TE, Hartov A, Soho SK, Poplack SP, Paulsen KD. Imaging the breast with EIS: an initial study of exam consistency. Physiol Meas. 2002;23(1):221-36.
Use of electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) to image the breasts of women with both normal and abnormal conditions requires the ability to deliver a consistent and repeatable exam. To investigate the degree to which our current imaging system can meet this requirement we conducted an initial study of exam consistency. The trial involved the imaging of 25 breasts stratified into four separate substudies with increasing levels of electrode placement uncertainty. The degree of complexity ranged from single-placement single-session imaging to multiple-placement single-session imaging to multiple-placement multiple-session imaging. Both visual analysis and quantitative comparisons using mean squared difference (MSD) measures between pairs of permittivity and conductivity images were performed. A new breast interface with the improved vertical and radial electrode array positioning capability required to complete this study is described. Not surprisingly, the results show a dominant trend of increased image variability with increased electrode placement uncertainty. Importantly, quantitative levels of image consistency are reported through MSD analysis. On average across all frequencies analysed, MSDs for single placements are well below 1%, near 2-3% for repositioned breasts during the same session and approximately 15% for re-examined breasts in multiple sessions conducted over time. Overall, these results suggest that EIS breast exams are consistent provided the electrode placement is well controlled, typically with better than 1 cm accuracy.