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Quantification of the Pain and Physical Burden Experienced during Positioning for Craniocaudal Imaging in Mammography, Evaluated by Measurement of Muscle Activity

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2015.71004    2,934 Downloads   3,309 Views   Citations


Mammography is carried out in a special position, i.e. “an image is taken while the breast is compressed, stretched and kept in a fixed position”. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate quantitatively and qualitatively the physical and psychological burden due to positioning and breast compression during mammography. Muscle activity of each part of the body during positioning for the standard imaging method, to obtain craniocaudal (CC) view images, was measured in 15 adult females using surface EMG. The associated pain was analyzed using visual analogue scale (VAS) scores. During positioning for the CC view, muscle activity was highest in the biceps (24.44 iEMG/s) followed by the trapezius (17.78 iEMG/s) on the imaging side. Muscle activity of the biceps and the sternocleidomastoid on the imaging side showed significant differences compared with pre-imaging activity (biceps P < 0.031, sternocleidomastoid P < 0.005). The pain during mammography was rated as moderate to severe pain (VAS = 3.3 - 6.7) for CC views. As a result, the activities of not only the muscles directly involved in mammography positioning but also those indirectly involved were high as compared with the normal state. Measurement of muscle activity during mammography is expected to be used effectively, such as in the care to reduce pain for the subjects.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Uchiyama, M. , Lee, Y. , Kazama, K. , Minagawa, Y. and Tsurumaki, M. (2015) Quantification of the Pain and Physical Burden Experienced during Positioning for Craniocaudal Imaging in Mammography, Evaluated by Measurement of Muscle Activity. Health, 7, 23-34. doi: 10.4236/health.2015.71004.


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