Diffraction-enhanced imaging (DEI) is a new x-ray imaging modality that has been shown to enhance contrast between normal and cancerous breast tissues. In this study, diffraction-enhanced imaging in computed tomography (DEI-CT) mode was used to quantitatively characterize the refraction contrasts of the organized structures associated with invasive human breast cancer. Using a high-sensitivity Si (3 3 3) reflection, the individual features of breast cancer, including masses, calcifications and spiculations, were observed. DEI-CT yields 14, 5 and 7 times higher CT numbers and 10, 9 and 6 times higher signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) for masses, calcifications and spiculations, respectively, as compared to conventional CT of the same specimen performed using the same detector, x-ray energy and dose. Furthermore, DEI-CT at ten times lower dose yields better SNR than conventional CT. In light of the recent development of a compact DEI prototype using an x-ray tube as its source, these results, acquired at a clinically relevant x-ray energy for which a pre-clinical DEI prototype currently exists, suggest the potential of clinical implementation of mammography with DEI-CT to provide high-contrast, high-resolution images of breast cancer (Parham 2006 PhD Dissertation University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).