Contrast-enhanced dedicated breast CT: Initial clinical experience

Nicolas D. Prionas, Karen K Lindfors, Shonket Ray, Shih Ying Huang, Laurel A Beckett, Wayne L. Monsky, John M Boone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


Purpose: To quantify contrast material enhancement of breast lesions scanned with dedicated breast computed tomography (CT) and to compare their conspicuity with that at unenhanced breast CT and mammography. Materials and Methods: Approval of the institutional review board and the Radiation Use Committee and written informed consent were obtained for this HIPAA-compliant study. Between September 2006 and April 2009, 46 women (mean age, 53.2 years; age range, 35-72 years) with Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System category 4 or 5 lesions underwent unenhanced breast CT and contrast material-enhanced breast CT before biopsy. Two radiologists independently scored lesion conspicuity for contrast-enhanced breast CT versus mammography and for contrast-enhanced breast CT versus unenhanced breast CT. Mean lesion voxel intensity was measured in Hounsfield units and normalized to adipose tissue intensity on manually segmented images obtained before and after administration of contrast material. Regression models focused on conspicuity and quantified enhancement were used to estimate the effect of pathologic diagnosis (benign vs malignant), lesion type (mass vs calcifications), breast density, and interradiologist variability. Results: Fifty-four lesions (25 benign, 29 malignant) in 46 subjects were analyzed. Malignant lesions were seen significantly better at contrast-enhanced breast CT than at unenhanced breast CT (P < .001) or mammography (P < .001). Malignant calcifications (malignant lesions manifested mammographically as microcalcifications only, n = 7) were seen better at contrast-enhanced breast CT than at unenhanced breast CT (P < .001) and were seen similarly at contrast-enhanced breast CT and mammography. Malignant lesions enhanced 55.9 HU ± 4.0 (standard error), whereas benign lesions enhanced 17.6 HU ± 6.1 (P < .001). Ductal carcinoma in situ ( n = 5) enhanced a mean of 59.6 HU ± 2.8. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis of lesion enhancement yielded an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.876. Conclusion: Conspicuity of malignant breast lesions, including ductal carcinoma in situ, is significantly improved at contrast-enhanced breast CT. Quantifying lesion enhancement may aid in the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-723
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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