"Kiki Gets a Mammogram" by kristiewells is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0

Self-Compression During Mammography Evaluated

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Kiki Gets a Mammogram" by kristiewells is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0Philippe Henrot, MD
Radiology Department
Institut de Cancerologie de Lorraine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The initial observation was that daily practice of mammography shows a substantial proportion of women that report a negative experience after having a mammogram. Compression of the breast before delivering X-rays is mandatory to achieve the best image quality and to detect small cancers. Unfortunately, compression is uncomfortable, even sometimes painful.

We took into consideration a study of PJ Kornguth et al. published in 1993 reporting the self-compression technique. In this study one breast was compressed by the radiographer and the other with self-compression. The author reported a high level of patient satisfaction, and a lower discomfort, without compromising image quality. We performed a multicenter prospective randomized trial to demonstrate the feasibility of the self-compression technique in condition similar to routine screening or follow-up, compared with standard compression. The primary outcome was to demonstrate that self-compression did not lead to compress the breast less than standard compression, and that was done. The secondary outcomes were to evaluate pain, compression force and image quality.

The results indicated that compression force was higher when the women controlled themselves the compression of their breast, and the pain measured on a visual analogue scale was lower. Moreover, image quality was not compromised compared with standard compression. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Women performing self-compression have a greater ability to tolerate breast compression. This technique could be proposed to women who dread having a mammogram, and that could make them to attend or re-attend to screening. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: Generalizability could be evaluated in a further study, taking account parameters such as bra size, density, X-ray dose, and the impact on the workflow. 


Henrot P, Boisserie-Lacroix M, Boute V, et al. Self-compression Technique vs Standard Compression in Mammography: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 04, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.7169


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Last Updated on February 6, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD