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March 1981

Contact Plate Thermography: A New Technique for Diagnosis of Breast Masses

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, Los Angeles County Harbor/UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, Calif, and the UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles (Drs Goldberg, Schick, and Shabot), and the Surgical Oncology Service, Department of Surgery, University of California at San Diego (Dr Pilch).

Arch Surg. 1981;116(3):271-273. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1981.01380150007002

• Ninety-four consecutive patients who underwent breast biopsy were prospectively evaluated with contact plate thermography. Final diagnosis based on surgically excised tissue was used as the standard of comparison. There were 77 benign lesions and 17 malignant lesions in the study group. A diagnosis of cancer was made by contact plate thermography in 11 of the 17 patients with malignant neoplasms, with six false-negative diagnoses. Among the 77 histologically benign lesions, contact plate thermography made the correct diagnosis in 66 cases, with 11 false-positive results. Considering all 94 patients, contact plate thermography was accurate in 81.9%, with 6.4% false-negative and 11.7% false-positive diagnoses. These data compared favorably with other diagnostic data used in this study, namely physical examination and mammography. Contact plate thermography is a quick, inexpensive, and harmless diagnostic procedure. Further evaluation of it is indicated, including its possible inclusion in breast cancer screening programs.

(Arch Surg 1981;116:271-273)

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