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January 1, 1988

Thermography and Xeromammography-Reply

JAMA. 1988;259(1):46-47. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720010026030

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In Reply.  —Dr Isard's comments, while interesting and provocative, are, in our opinion, misguided. The role of xeromammography in our patient was to help exclude a dominant mass. An understanding of the physics and characteristic x-ray spectra of film screen mammography and xeromammography, as we discussed, explains the usefulness of this approach. Dr Isard implies that thermography is 100% reliable in differentiating benign inflammatory conditions from neoplasia. This is not the case, unfortunately, and to state otherwise is a disservice to our less-knowledgeable medical colleagues. Thermographic signals contain complex physiological data that are poorly understood at present. Many benign lesions are "hot" and many malignancies appear "cold." The clinical role of thermography, therefore, is confusing and unclear. The best approach to thermography is summarized by the current policy of the American College of Radiology, which states that thermography of the breast is still an experimental procedure with no established clinical