The Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas has taken delivery of the Naviscan PEM scanner at its Darlene Cass Women’s Imaging Center. Baylor will utilize Positron Emission Mammography (PEM) to complement its existing anatomical tools by providing a critical three-dimensional metabolic perspective of breast cancer.

The Naviscan PEM scanner uses PET (Positron Emission Tomography) technology to produce high-resolution tomographic images at 2 millimeter resolution, allowing physicians to visualize breast tumors about the size of a grain of rice.

The scanner is the size of a mammography unit and consists of two high-resolution detector heads which are placed in close proximity to the breast. Compared to the higher-force compression necessary for mammography, the Naviscan PEM scanner uses gentle breast immobilization, said the company.

Naviscan said that the metabolic view allows physicians to make the optimal cancer care decisions by providing an ability to distinguish between benign and malignant lesions in specificity. A recent multi-center NIH-sponsored study comparing PEM and MRI proved that PEM had improved specificity relative to MRI at comparable sensitivity, the ability to see lesions.

The Darlene Cass Women’s Imaging Center performs more than 50,000 breast imaging procedures annually. The center, which is fully accredited in mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound and ultrasound-guided breast biopsy, now adds PEM to its imaging services.

Zeeshan Shah of Baylor University, said: “Our technology, radiology expertise and our dedication to the detection of breast cancer has allowed us to provide exquisite care to thousands of women. Our expectation is that PEM will prove indispensable to effective breast cancer management for both our referring physicians and our patient population.”