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: , ,


Satisfaction Guarantee


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. understand options for diagnosing breast cancer prior to breast imaging becoming available to patients
  2. recall physicians associated with early breast imaging techniques
  3. differentiate between x-ray equipment used for breast roentgenograms in the early 1920s and 1930s
  4. describe Egan’s mammography positioning techniques
  5. explain imaging challenges associated with underexposed breast images
  6. specify the origin of the xeromammography process
  7. name the inherent parameters associated with the xeroradiographic process
  8. list challenges associated with the xeroradiographic process
  9. list advantages of breast compression
  10. know the year in which the oblique mammographic view was introduced
  11. specify the benefits of two-view mammographic screening
  12. describe the best mammographic view for visualizing lesions in the augmented breast
  13. state the benefits of magnification mammography
  14. understand the factors necessary for successful mammography
  15. name the first structured reporting language for imaging
  16. list the components of the BI-RADS reporting system
  17. specify imaging modalities that use the BI-RADS standardized auditing approach
  18. list challenges associated with digital mammographic imaging
  19. articulate advantages to converting to digital mammography
  20. express the number of facilities and units in the United States using full-field digital mammography
  21. understand the benefits of ultrasound coupled with mammography for evaluating breast masses
  22. list barriers to widespread adoption of ultrasound as a breast screening tool
  23. name early successes with diagnostic applications of breast MR
  24. differentiate between diagnostic and screening breast MR imaging
  25. state the most sensitive modality for breast imaging
  26. name the first physician to perform freehand breast needle localization
  27. describe breast needle placement in order to reduce chance of pneumothorax
  28. list the modalities with which wire localization can be performed
  29. note both patient and society benefits of image-guided percutaneous breast biopsy
  30. understand the role of image-guided percutaneous biopsy as is relates to tissue diagnosis
  31. explain when and where fine-needle aspiration was first performed
  32. list the advantages of core biopsy over fine-needle aspiration
  33. discuss data in regard to digital breast tomosynthesis
  34. define MR spectroscopy
  35. understand the potential applications of diffusion-weighted imaging