Automated breast ultrasound (ABUS): A pictorial essay of common artifacts and benign and malignant pathology

Dima Al Jahed1,2,3, Sofie Dekeyzer3, Katrien Vanwambeke3, Marijana Antic2,3, Charlotte Vanhoenacker3,4, Filip Vanhoenacker3,5,6

Affiliation and address for correspondence
J Ultrason 2022; 22: e222–e235
DOI: 10.15557/JoU.2022.0037

Automated breast ultrasound is a three-dimensional ultrasonographic technique allowing the evaluation of women with dense glandular breast tissue. In this group of patients, mammography has a low sensitivity because dense breasts can obscure breast cancer on mammogram. On the other hand, women with dense breast tissue, types C and D on the BI-RADS scale, are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to women with fatty breast tissue. Automated breast ultrasound is a standardized and reproducible ultrasound technique which improves breast cancer detection and is promising in the screening and diagnostic settings: it increases the detection of breast cancer, and helps to differentiate benign and malignant lesions. Unfortunately, automated breast ultrasound also has its limitations and disadvantages due to artifacts caused by poor positioning, and lesion and patient characteristics. Many artifacts can be avoided by training and experience of the performing technician. Furthermore, familiarity of the interpreting breast radiologist with these artifacts and pitfalls will decrease false negative diagnosis of true lesions.

breast cancer; artifacts; advantages; dense breast; automated breast ultrasound