Compression in mammography

Last revised by Dr. Reuben Schmidt on 29 Mar 2022

In mammography, compression of the breast is performed to reduce its thickness. By doing so, the following benefits are achieved:

  • improved subject contrast (by reducing scattered radiation)
  • improved density uniformity
  • improved visualization of breast tissue near chest wall (by spreading out superimposed anatomy
  • decreased radiation dose
  • decreased blurring (by reducing motion artifact)

Compression is performed by the use of compression paddles, a component of the mammographic unit, which can vary in size and function.

The typical compression force used in mammography is between 100 and 200 Newtons.

 

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