European Radiology

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 381–387

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

  • Anikó Sztrókay
  • Julia Herzen
  • Sigrid D. Auweter
  • Susanne Liebhardt
  • Doris Mayr
  • Marian Willner
  • Dieter Hahn
  • Irene Zanette
  • Timm Weitkamp
  • Karin Hellerhoff
  • Franz Pfeiffer
  • Maximilian F. Reiser
  • Fabian Bamberg
Experimental

DOI: 10.1007/s00330-012-2592-1

Cite this article as:
Sztrókay, A., Herzen, J., Auweter, S.D. et al. Eur Radiol (2013) 23: 381. doi:10.1007/s00330-012-2592-1

Abstract

Objective

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).

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

Key Points

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.

Keywords

X-ray phase-contrast imaging Computed tomography Synchrotron radiation Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) Invasive ductal carcinoma 

Abbreviations and acronyms

PC-CT

phase-contrast computed tomography

DCIS

ductal carcinoma in situ

PHU

phase-contrast Hounsfield unit

Supplementary material

330_2012_2592_MOESM1_ESM.doc (67 kb)
Esm 1 (DOC 67 kb)
330_2012_2592_MOESM2_ESM.mov (6.9 mb)
Supplementary Movie 1Axial phase-contrast images of the tumour-bearing sample. (MOV 7096 kb)
330_2012_2592_MOESM3_ESM.mov (21.4 mb)
Supplementary Movie 2Coronal phase-contrast images of the tumour-bearing sample. (MOV 21868 kb)
330_2012_2592_MOESM4_ESM.mov (7.9 mb)
Supplementary Movie 3Axial absorption-contrast images of the tumour-bearing sample. (MOV 8127 kb)
330_2012_2592_MOESM5_ESM.mov (34.6 mb)
Supplementary Movie 4Coronal absorption-contrast images of the tumour-bearing sample. (MOV 35458 kb)
330_2012_2592_MOESM6_ESM.mov (4.9 mb)
Supplementary Movie 5Axial phase-contrast images of the unaffected sample. (MOV 5036 kb)
330_2012_2592_MOESM7_ESM.mov (5.9 mb)
Supplementary Movie 6Coronal phase-contrast images of the unaffected sample. (MOV 6058 kb)
330_2012_2592_MOESM8_ESM.mov (12.7 mb)
Supplementary Movie 7Axial absorption-contrast images of the unaffected sample. (MOV 13004 kb)
330_2012_2592_MOESM9_ESM.mov (14.8 mb)
Supplementary Movie 8Coronal absorption-contrast images of the unaffected sample. (MOV 15118 kb)

Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anikó Sztrókay
    • 1
  • Julia Herzen
    • 2
  • Sigrid D. Auweter
    • 1
  • Susanne Liebhardt
    • 1
  • Doris Mayr
    • 3
  • Marian Willner
    • 2
  • Dieter Hahn
    • 2
  • Irene Zanette
    • 2
    • 4
  • Timm Weitkamp
    • 5
  • Karin Hellerhoff
    • 1
  • Franz Pfeiffer
    • 2
  • Maximilian F. Reiser
    • 1
  • Fabian Bamberg
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Clinical RadiologyLudwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsTechnische Universität MünchenGarchingGermany
  3. 3.Institute of PathologyLudwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  4. 4.European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)GrenobleFrance
  5. 5.Synchrotron Soleil, L’Orme des MerisiersGif-sur-YvetteFrance
  6. 6.Institute of Clinical RadiologyLMU MunichMunichGermany

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