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

Taba, ST; Lewis, S; Baran, PM; Arhatari, BD; Nesterets, YI; Mayo, SC; Thompson, D; Fox, J; Kumar, B; Prodanovic, Z; Hausermann, D; Maksimenko, A; Hall, C; Dimmock, M; Pavlov, KM; Peele, A; Quiney, HM; Lockie, D; Tromba, G; Gureyev, TE; Brennan, PC


ST Taba

S Lewis

PM Baran

BD Arhatari

YI Nesterets

SC Mayo

D Thompson

J Fox

B Kumar

Z Prodanovic

D Hausermann

A Maksimenko

C Hall

KM Pavlov

A Peele

HM Quiney

D Lockie

G Tromba

TE Gureyev

PC Brennan


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.

Acceptance Date May 22, 2020
Publication Date May 22, 2020
Print ISSN 0277-786X
Publisher Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers
ISBN 978-1-5106-3831-0
Publisher URL