Comparison of propagation-based phase-contrast CT and absorption-based CT for breast imaging using synchrotron radiation

Seyedamir Tavakoli Taba, Sarah Lewis, Patrycja M. Baran, Benedicta D. Arhatari, Yakov I. Nesterets, Sheridan C. Mayo, Darren Thompson, Jane Fox, Beena Kumar, Zdenka Prodanovic, Daniel Hausermann, Anton Maksimenko, Christopher Hall, Matthew Dimmock, Konstantin M. Pavlov, Andrew Peele, Harry M. Quiney, Darren Lockie, Giuliana Tromba, Timur E. GureyevPatrick C. Brennan

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Propagation-based phase-contrast CT (PB-CT) is a novel imaging technique that visualises variations in both X-ray attenuation and refraction. This study aimed to compare the clinical image quality of breast PB-CT using synchrotron radiation with conventional absorption-based CT (AB-CT), at the same radiation dose. Seven breast mastectomy specimens were scanned and evaluated by a group of 14 radiologists and medical imaging experts who assessed the images based on seven radiological image quality criteria. Visual grading characteristics (VGC) were used to analyse the results and the area under the VGC curve was obtained to measure the differences between the two techniques. For six image quality criteria (overall quality, perceptible contrast, lesion sharpness, normal tissue interfaces, calcification visibility and image noise), PB-CT images were superior to AB-CT images of the same dose (AUCVGC: 0.704 to 0.914, P≤.05). For the seventh criteria (artefacts), PB-CT images were also rated better than AB-CT images (AUCVGC: 0.647) but the difference was not significant. The results of this study provide a solid basis for future experimental and clinical protocols of breast PB-CT.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication15th International Workshop on Breast Imaging, IWBI 2020
EditorsHilde Bosmans, Nicholas Marshall, Chantal Van Ongeval
Place of PublicationBellingham WA USA
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781510638310
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2020
EventInternational Workshop on Breast Imaging 2020 - Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 25 May 202027 May 2020
Conference number: 15th

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceInternational Workshop on Breast Imaging 2020
Abbreviated titleIWBI2020


  • Absorption-based CT (AB-CT)
  • Breast CT
  • Cancer imaging
  • Propagation-based phase-contrast CT (PB-CT)
  • Synchrotron radiation
  • Visual grading characteristics (VGC)

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