Download the Volpara Product Brochure (PDF, 2MB).
Volpara helps radiologists in their assessment of breast density by providing volumetric breast density readings along with a BI-RADS breast density classification for each patient. Volpara is in clinical use globally and has been cleared by the FDA, HealthCanada, TGA, CE and other regulatory bodies.
Volpara is clinically deployed in the same way that computer-aided detection is: the x-ray machines are configured to send out “For Processing” data to Volpara, we process that data, and then send the results out to your PACS and/or viewing workstations.
Typically, the results are presented in the following simple, easy-to-read format which is compatible with all workstations:
The Volpara Density Grade correlates scientifically with the BI-RADS density classification.
Results can also be presented via various mammography reporting systems and integration with other systems is underway.
We currently support the following x-ray machines:
The Volpara Imaging Software (“Volpara”) is provided with the Matariki Dicom Server to allow a completely integrated clinical solution via DICOM networking, in exactly the same manner as computer-aided detection is typically integrated, as shown here:
Volpara can be configured to accept “For Processing” images from up to four x-ray devices. Once it recognizes that it has a complete study it automatically begins processing and is able to send out (to multiple destinations) both DICOM CAD SR and DICOM Secondary Capture Images with the breast density information.
The breast density information is provided per breast (by averaging the CC and MLO values), and for each patient a Volpara Density Grade (VDG), that correlates with the American College of Radiology BI-RADS Density Grading Classifications, is also provided.
The Volpara results are typically available to the radiologist within a few minutes of the last imaging study being received by Volpara.
Volpara has been validated extensively in many countries with different researchers.
Exclusive “Relative Physics” Technology
By using the DICOM “For Processing” image data generated by the digital mammography system, the Volpara algorithm automatically and objectively measures volumetric breast density; the percentage of fibroglandular tissue in the breast.
Volpara makes that measurement by applying sophisticated image processing and x-ray physics. However, unlike other volumetric measurement techniques Volpara employs what we’ve dubbed “relative physics” rather than “absolute physics” which requires too great an accuracy in the physics data provided from the x-ray machine (such as mAs, kVp, breast thickness).
Here, Professor Martin Yaffe from the University of Toronto, explains how Volpara works.
With relative physics, the first step is to find a reference point in the breast which is of known breast composition. Typically, this would be an area near the chest wall of all fatty tissue. Volpara selects that point entirely automatically.
The second step is to compute the x-ray attenuation at each pixel by comparing the pixel value at the reference point to the pixel value at each pixel. We then convert that attenuation to an estimate of the tissue composition between that pixel and the x-ray source, that gives us a density map in which the height at each pixel represents the tissue composition: higher values mean more fibroglandular tissue.
By adding up all the values in the density map over the image, we can arrive at volume of fibroglandular tissue in cubic centimeters, volume of breast in cubic centimeters and the percentage of the breast that consists of fibroglandular tissue – the volumetric breast density. Finally, by using the BI-RADS breast density readings provided by Professor Jennifer Harvey at the University of Virginia we are able to map that volumetric breast density to a Volpara Density Grade (VDG) which is comparable to the BI-RADS density grade used in clinics today (see below).
Volpara has been validated extensively. This graph shows the volume of fibroglandular tissue in cubic centimetres as computed by Volpara from the x-rays versus the volume as estimated from breast MRI via manual segmentation of each slice:
This graph shows the relationship between Volpara and BIRADS breast density:
Volpara is multi-detector, this graph shows the breast density for the same woman imaged one year apart on a GE digital x-ray unit and a Hologic digital x-ray unit and for the same woman imaged on Fuji CR and Fuji DR:
Please see the Resources heading to the right for:
- Published research using Volpara and research sites
- Quotes from clinical users of Volpara
- White papers about clinical use of Volpara
- Breast density information for clinicians
- A link to a separate website for basic information about breast density.
Volpara is in actual clinical use at institutes around the globe, please contact us for further information.
Volpara Deployment to Suit Your Specific Environment
Matakina is a medical imaging software company. As software experts, we are able to deploy our software to suit your specific environment and needs. The available deployment options are Research, Stand-alone, Enterprise and Cloud. Download our Deployment brochure (PDF, 376KB) which includes technical information for IT Departments and Systems Engineers.
Capable of analyzing tens of thousands of patients. Data is tracked by patient ID, study date, mammography manufacturer and age. Results for breast volume, fibroglandular tissue volume, and volumetric breast density per image are available. Ideal for research facilities that demand a high-throughput, objective analysis of breast density over time for temporal comparison. This software option is designed to run on any Windows PC.
An on-site server-based solution which is capable of accepting DICOM images from up to four mammography systems (any vendor). Resulting output can be sent to multiple DICOM-compatible devices such as mammography workstations, technologist workstations, mammography reporting systems and PACS.
For larger organizations, Volpara can be deployed in a “virtual” environment. This type of installation enables the IT department to further utilize their existing infrastructure and will allow for hardware standardization and reduced service costs. Typically, images are sent to a central location where the Volpara software is hosted on hardware that is provided and maintained by the IT department.
In partnership with Microsoft®, Volpara software can be hosted in secure data centers in locations based geographically close to the user. Security is guaranteed by use of secure transmission links. This type of deployment is ideal for low volume facilities and large multi-center institutions and national screening programs that require service across a wide geographic range and tens or hundreds of sites.
Technical Information for IT Departments and Systems Engineers
Below are the system requirements for each type of deployment of Volpara server. Please refer to these requirements when building and configuring your physical or virtual deployment that will host the Volpara server. Please email email@example.com for more information.
Research GUI Systems Requirements
- Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64 bit)
- Java Runtime Environment 6.0 or greater
- Local administrative access
Stand-Alone or Virtual Volpara Server System Requirements
- Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64 bit) or Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (64 bit)
- Recommend at least Intel Core i5 physical or virtual processor
- 4 GB RAM
- 80 GB HDD
- 10/100 Mbit NIC
- Internet access
- Local administrative access
Windows Update/Firewall Rules
- We recommend Windows Update is disabled on Windows 7 and Server 2008 installs
- Windows 7. Note: MS Update KB2507938 must not be installed
- Firewall rules must permit inbound and outbound DICOM traffic to the modality and PACS
For Matakina staff to install and configure the Volpara server system for you we require remote access to your server. This can be your preferred existing method such as Cisco VPN, Citrix, Remote Desktop etc or we can use Zoho Assist to access the server’s desktop.
Upon receipt of your purchase order we will work through an Installation Checklist with you to capture information such as IP addresses, DICOM AE titles and your PACS information to build a site diagram of your facility. This information will be stored to prepare for the installation and used to provide technical support in future.