Assessment of grating-based X-ray phase-contrast CT for differentiation of invasive ductal carcinoma and ductal carcinoma in situ in an experimental ex vivo set-up
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Limited contrast between healthy and tumour tissue is a limiting factor in mammography and CT of the breast. Phase-contrast computed tomography (PC-CT) provides improved soft-tissue contrast compared with absorption-based techniques. In this study, we assessed the technical feasibility of grating-based PC-CT imaging of the breast for characterisation of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).
Grating-based PC-CT was performed on one breast specimen containing an invasive ductal carcinoma and DCIS using monochromatic radiation of 23 keV. Phase-contrast and absorption-based images were compared qualitatively and quantitatively with histopathology in a blinded fashion.
Grating-based PC-CT showed improved differentiation of soft-tissue components. Circular structures of high phase-shift contrast corresponding to the walls of the dilated ductuli of the DCIS were visualised with a contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of 9.6 using PC-CT but were not detectable on absorption-based images (CNR = 0.27). The high phase-shift structures of the dilated ductuli were identifiable in the PC-CT volume data set allowing for 3D characterisation of DCIS.
Our results indicate that unlike conventional CT, grating-based PC-CT may allow the differentiation between invasive carcinoma and intraductal carcinoma and healthy breast tissue and provide 3D visualisation of DCIS.
• Phase-contrast computed tomography (CT) yields improved soft-tissue contrast.
• The method can resolve the fine structure of a breast tumour.
• Invasive and intraductal carcinoma can be differentiated.
• Differentiation is possible by visual inspection and quantification.
• The method could improve early breast cancer diagnosis.
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- Assessment of grating-based X-ray phase-contrast CT for differentiation of invasive ductal carcinoma and ductal carcinoma in situ in an experimental ex vivo set-up
Volume 23, Issue 2 , pp 381-387
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- X-ray phase-contrast imaging
- Computed tomography
- Synchrotron radiation
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
- Invasive ductal carcinoma
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Clinical Radiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377, Munich, Germany
- 2. Department of Physics, Technische Universität München, James-Franck-Strasse 1, 85748, Garching, Germany
- 3. Institute of Pathology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Thalkirchner Str. 36, 80337, Munich, Germany
- 4. European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), 6, rue Jules Horowitz, 38000, Grenoble, France
- 5. Synchrotron Soleil, L’Orme des Merisiers, Saint Aubin, 91192, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
- 6. Institute of Clinical Radiology, LMU Munich, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377, Munich, Germany