Characterization of diffraction-enhanced imaging contrast in breast cancer

Y. T. Kao, Jeffery D Connor, F. A. Dilmanian, L. Faulconer, T. Liu, Chris A. Parham, Etta D. Pisano, Z. Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


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).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3247-3256
Number of pages10
JournalPhysics in Medicine & Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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