November 23, 2018

Data Proving Weaknesses in Mammography Positioning

In a review of one million mammographic studies, key weaknesses in positioning were found based on Volpara® Enterprise™ software that uses data points to determine quality metrics.

The most common issues in positioning detected by Volpara Enterprise were:

MLO view:


CC view:

  • PNL Length
  • Excessive Exaggeration


In the abstract, "Comparison of screening full-field digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis technical recalls," Salkowski, et. al. compared technical recalls between digital breast tomosynthesis and 2D full-field mammography on 48,324 screening mammograms. They found that positioning continues to be the dominant factor for technical recalls.  

Facilities are looking for solutions to help improve positioning, especially with EQUIP standards in place. One facility spent $72,000 to develop and launch a program to support improved positioning standards. 

How to Improve Positioning in Mammography

  1. Send your technologists to conferences that specialize in improving positioning. A few resources include Breast Imaging Specialists, MQM LLCMammography Educators, Medical Technology Management Institute, or Advanced Health Education Center. These educators have positioning conferences and offer consulting services as well as webinars throughout the year.
  1. Invest in a software to determine metrics, such as Volpara® Enterprise™ or Mammocheck to determine where to focus on improvements with your Technologists. 
  1. Plan a meeting with the team to openly discuss positioning challenges without judgment and determine as a group which positioning criteria will be a focus for improvement. Set a goal and if achieved have a celebration.
  1. Consider using a receptor plate cover proven to help grip the breast and keep it in place for improved positioning.


In a 2018 Beekley Medical Survey, 89% respondents were looking for a solution to help improve positioning and acquire more breast tissue and expressed interest in trying Bella Blankets® protective coverlets for mammography as that solution.   

Discover how you can improve positioning with Bella Blankets. Contact your Account Manager at 1-800-233-5539 for a trial evaluation or email


Related Articles: 

Bella Blankets and Tissue Acquisition in Mammography

Capturing the Elusive Pectoralis Major in Mammography

The Elusive Inframammary Fold

Are Your Corrective Actions Ready for EQUIP Regulations?


Melissa Vibberts
Sr. Product Manager

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