Combined analysis of breast morphometry, compression and volumetric breast density: valuable input to improve mammography screening using international bench marking

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Hassan First University of Settat, High Institute of Health Sciences, Laboratory of Sciences and Health Technologies, Settat, Morocco

2 Laboratory of high energy physics Modelisation Simulation, Faculty of Sciences, University Mohammed V, Rabat, Morocco

3 Laboratory of high energy physics Modelisation Simulation, Faculty of Sciences, University Mohammed V, Rabat, Morocco.

4 KU Leuven, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Imaging and Pathology, Medical Physics and Quality Assessment, Belgium.

5 Universitair Ziekenhuis Leuven

6 UZ Leuven · Department of Radiology, Belgium.

7 association di fisica milan

8 Departement of Physics, Laboratory of High Energy Physics, Modelling and Simulation, Faculty of Science, Mohammed V Agdal University, Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco


High-quality mammograms are a necessity for the adequate detection of breast cancer. Hence, quality is multifactorial, and includes successively breast positioning, technical image quality and radiological reading. The aim of this study was to select parameters from a combined analysis of breast compression, breast morphometry and volumetric breast density to apply these investigations on a Moroccan population at the start of new breast cancer screening activities.

The study was carried out in a university hospital, a candidate screening center in a newly established screening program in Morocco, provided with new technology equipment, qualified staff and doctors of different specialties. This hospital is frequented by patients from all Moroccan regions and also from some countries in the rest of Africa. There are seven radiologists that four of whom are permanent. Image acquisition was procured on a FFDM Siemens Inspiration system for 250 patients in diagnostic mammography and all patients’ information was collected. The data about dose, compression force and compressed breast thickness were directly obtained from the DICOM headers, while applying Volpara Density software.


The 1st part of the study, the mean values of the volumetric breast density (VBD) and Compressed Breast Thickness (CBT) were 9.3% ± 6% and 53±11 mm respectively. As expected, the VBD decreases with breast thickness and age.

As to the 2nd part of the study, the average compression force found was 71±15N

Comparison with previous studies showed a similarity in the evolution of mammographic characteristics and compression parameters between Moroccan and Western populations. The global analysis showed a likeness of compression parameters evolution shape, but with relatively very low values. Moreover, a comparative statistical analysis of various quality parameters calculated on clinical mammograms for a population of Belgian and Moroccan female patients showed a satisfactory resemblance except for the values of the compression force.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 02 July 2022
  • Receive Date: 28 August 2021
  • Revise Date: 23 June 2022
  • Accept Date: 02 July 2022
  • First Publish Date: 02 July 2022