CAD Mammography

Templates are a critical part of DICOM Structured Reports (SR); they create order for the infinite number of possible structures that one can create using the SR building blocks. Either a template is communicated as part of the generic SR SOP Class, or a separate SOP Class is defined, which is constrained for using only specific template(s).

 In the case of a template such as defined for CAD mammography, which is rather complicated and meant to be interpreted by only specific applications, the specification of a special SOP Class definitely made sense.  

The object used to exchange the results of a CAD mammography system (such as the CAD SR SOP Class) is produced by a software program, which interprets a digitized mammogram and searches for potential micro calcifications or nodules. The output is typically presented as an overlay on the original image, identifying with markers where the potential lesion was detected to aid a radiologist in making a diagnosis.

The CAD mammography SR allows the encapsulation of not only the output of the algorithms (CAD Processing and Findings Summary), but also a list of the detections (Summary of Detections) and subsequent analysis (Summary of Analysis). It contains references to the DICOM images (Image Library) that were used to perform the CAD procedure.

The reason for keeping the analysis results is that it can be used as input for a future CAD operation to correlate with new results.

Mammography reports are highly regulated in the U.S. Its content is structured and there are well-defined terms to be used to indicate the findings. The report itself could refer back to the CAD report. The template to be used is defined as part of the breast image report SOP Class.

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