Use of Novel Anthropomorphic Breast Ultrasound Phantoms for Radiology Resident Education

Jacinta E. Browne, Chris Gu, Robert T. Fazzio, Andrew J. Fagan, Donald J. Tradup, Nicholas J. Hangiandreou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study evaluated the training and assessment role of anthropomorphic breast ultrasound phantoms that simulated both the morphological and sonographic characteristics of breast tissue, including lesions, in a group of radiology residents at a large academic medical center. Methods: This was a prospective study involving nine residents across second to fourth years of a radiology residency program. Two devices (phantom 1 and phantom 2) were designed and constructed to produce similar realistic sonographic images of breast morphology with a range of embedded pathologies to provide a realistic training experience. Baseline assessments of all residents’ ability to detect and characterize lesions in phantom 1 were carried out, followed by a 2-hour teaching session on the same phantom. All residents underwent a posttraining, final assessment on phantom 2 to evaluate changes in their lesion detection rate and ability to correctly characterize the lesions. Results: The results demonstrated there was a significant increase in both the pooled detection and correct characterization score for all residents pre- and posttraining of 26% ± 14% and 17% ± 8%, P <.0003, respectively. Posttraining assessment surveys revealed that residents rated the training experience highly. Conclusions: This study suggests that there is a benefit in including a simulation training workshop with a novel anthropomorphic breast ultrasound training device to a radiology resident education program. Finally, the phantoms used in this study are useful for training and assessment purposes because they provide a lifelike simulation of breast tissue to practice ultrasound imaging without direct exposure to patients, in an environment with no pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Breast ultrasound imaging
  • anthropomorphic training phantom
  • breast tissue–mimicking materials
  • clinical competency
  • education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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