The accuracy of breast volume measurement methods: A systematic review.
Breast volume is a key metric in breast surgery and there are a number of different methods which measure it. However, a lack of knowledge regarding a method's accuracy and comparability has made it difficult to establish a clinical standard. We have performed a systematic review of the literature to examine the various techniques for measurement of breast volume and to assess their accuracy and usefulness in clinical practice. Each of the fifteen studies we identified had more than ten live participants and assessed volume measurement accuracy using a gold-standard based on the volume, or mass, of a mastectomy specimen. Many of the studies from this review report large (>200 ml) uncertainty in breast volume and many fail to assess measurement accuracy using appropriate statistical tools. Of the methods assessed, MRI scanning consistently demonstrated the highest accuracy with three studies reporting errors lower than 10% for small (250 ml), medium (500 ml) and large (1000 ml) breasts. However, as a high-cost, non-routine assessment other methods may be more appropriate.