The Evolution of Breast Imaging

A review of the evolution of breast imaging starting from a historical perspective and progressing to the present day.

Course ID: Q00427 Category:
Modalities: , ,


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Targeted CE per ARRT’s Discipline, Category, and Subcategory classification for enrollments starting after February 24, 2023:
[Note: Discipline-specific Targeted CE credits may be less than the total Category A credits approved for this course.]

Breast Sonography: 0.50
Patient Care: 0.50
Patient Interactions and Management: 0.50

Mammography: 0.50
Procedures: 0.50
Mammographic Positioning, Special Needs, and Imaging Procedures: 0.50

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: 0.25
Procedures: 0.25
Body: 0.25

Sonography: 0.25
Procedures: 0.25
Superficial Structures and Other Sonographic Procedures: 0.25


  1. Introduction
  2. Evolution of Breast Imaging Technique
    1. Direct Exposure Mammography
    2. Xeromammography
    3. Screen-Film Mammography
    4. Advent of Screening Mammography
    5. The Oblique View and Specialized Mammographic Views
    6. Standardized Reporting and Outcomes
    7. Breast Density Legislation
  3. Digital Mammography
    1. Thermography
  4. Complementary Breast Imaging Technologies
    1. Breast US
    2. Breast MR Imaging
  5. Breast Intervention
    1. Freehand Localization
    2. Grid Localization
  6. Percutaneous Breast Biopsy for Nonpalpable Lesions
    1. Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy
    2. Core Biopsy
  7. A Look to the Future
    1. Digital Breast Tomosynthesis
    2. Breast MR Spectroscopy and Diffusion
    3. Abbreviated Breast MR Screening
    4. Alternative Imaging Modalities
  8. Conclusion


Upon completion of this course, students will:

  1. differentiate between x-ray equipment used for breast roentgenograms in the early 1920s and 1930s
  2. describe Egan’s mammography positioning techniques
  3. explain imaging challenges associated with underexposed breast images
  4. specify the origin of the xeromammography process
  5. name the inherent parameters associated with the xeroradiographic process
  6. list advantages of breast compression
  7. specify the benefits of two-view mammographic screening
  8. state the benefits of magnification mammography
  9. specify imaging modalities that use the BI-RADS standardized auditing approach
  10. list challenges associated with digital mammographic imaging
  11. articulate advantages to converting to digital mammography
  12. understand the benefits of ultrasound coupled with mammography for evaluating breast masses
  13. list barriers to widespread adoption of ultrasound as a breast screening tool
  14. differentiate between diagnostic and screening breast MR imaging
  15. state the most sensitive modality for breast imaging
  16. describe breast needle placement in order to reduce chance of pneumothorax
  17. note both patient and society benefits of image-guided percutaneous breast biopsy
  18. list the advantages of core biopsy over fine-needle aspiration
  19. discuss data in regard to digital breast tomosynthesis
  20. understand the potential applications of diffusion-weighted imaging