Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI)

What is a Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI)?

A Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging is a molecular breast imaging technique – can aid in diagnosis when a mammogram is inconclusive; revealing important information that can help your doctor more accurately determine if an area of concern is cancerous or not.

When is a BSGI done?

After a mammogram. A mammogram is an X-ray study of the breast used to image tissue structure and density. If you are scheduled for additional testing, your mammogram may have been difficult to interpret due to some specific characteristics of your breast tissue.
For example, dense breast tissue is displayed on a mammogram as white areas. Abnormalities or cancerous tissue can also appear as white or light areas. This can make it difficult to locate masses. BSGI, working on a cellular or metabolic level, helps differentiate cancer from other structures or benign tissue in the breast.

Why your doctor is testing with BSGI?

Some physicians order additional tests to help determine diagnosis, such as an ultrasound and/or MRI. BSGI is specific enough to determine metabolic changes within the breast that indicate suspicious cells. BSGI can also help your doctor determine if biopsy is necessary. Biopsies can be traumatic and leave scars, and may be preventable in some cases.
BSGI is the ideal complement to mammography. Pairing the information from these two imaging tests gives your doctor strong diagnostic capability in determining your breast health.

What is my next step?

While mammography remains the primary method of early detection, diagnostic challenges can occur due to the complexity of breast tissue. There are times when additional testing is necessary.
Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging is a strong diagnostic tool especially for patients who have:

  • Dense breast tissue
  • Indeterminate areas on mammography, ultrasound or MRI
  • Lumps that can be felt, but not seen with mammography or ultrasound
  • Implants and breast augmentation
  • Scarring from previous surgeries

BSGI reveals cancerous lesions, even in women with difficult-to-read mammograms.

How does BSGI work?

With BSGI, you receive a pharmaceutical tracing agent that is absorbed by all the cells in the body. Due to their increased rate of metabolic activity, cancerous cells in the breast absorb a greater amount of the tracing agent than normal, healthy cells, and generally appear as “dark spots” on the BSGI image. The Gamma Camera is a high-resolution, compact gamma camera, optimized to perform BSGI. Compared to mammography, BSGI requires only slight compression of the breast, just enough to hold the tissue in the device and you are seated throughout the process.

Where is the BSGI done?

DMS Mobile Imaging Service brings the equipment needed to perform the BSGI to North Valley Health Center. A technologist from DMS will perform the test here at North Valley Health Center.

Will my insurance cover this service?

We ask that you call your insurance company in advance to see if your BSGI will be covered.

For more information on Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI), please call our Radiology department at (218) 745-4211.

*All information obtained from Dilon Technologies.