Have an account? Please log in.
Text size: Small font Default font Larger font
.
Radiology Daily
Radiology Daily PracticalReviews.com Radiology Daily

Phase Contrast X-rays May Sharpen Mammograms

May 19, 2014
Written by: , Filed in: Breast Imaging
  • Comments
.

A few hurdles remain, but phase contrast X-ray imaging shows promise for creating breast images of much greater detail than current mammographic methods, according to Swiss researchers.

An article published last week in Nature Communications details their latest findings. They report that their technique allowed classification of breast microcalcifications with 100 percent sensitivity and specificity when using phantoms. Microcalcifications are often associated with cancer cell death and thus may be early warning signs of cancer.

Radiologist Rahel A. Kubik-Huch, MD, one of the study authors, said phase contrast X-ray imaging wouldn’t be replacing conventional mammography soon:

We are hopeful that the new technique, in comparison to standard mammography, will help to better indicate where a biopsy must be carried out in the breast. Still, it is not ready for clinical use as it needs to be validated in a larger number of cases.

Dr. Kubik-Huch leads the Institute of Radiology at the Kantonsspital Baden, a public hospital in Baden, Switzerland. She was quoted in a news release from ETH Zurich, another of the institutions involved in the research.

The researchers have found a way to use conventional X-rays in phase contrast imaging despite their wavelength incoherence. The technique measures not only X-ray absorption, as does conventional X-ray imaging, but also phase and scattering information as the beam strikes the target object.

“The fact that we have now managed to use these X-ray sources for the phase contrast method in order to develop a new and improved imaging method is a considerable step towards application in daily clinical practice,” said Marco Stampanoni, PhD, professor at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering at ETH Zurich and head of the X-ray tomography group at the Paul Scherrer Institute, a research center for natural and engineering sciences at Villigen, Switzerland.

Phase contrast mammography provides high-contrast images, the researchers said. It can distinguish among types of microcalcifications, identifying those most often associated with breast cancer precursors. The researchers say they need to get the radiation dosage down to the level of conventional mammography, and they have yet to work with actual human subjects.

“One of our next aims will be to develop a device for clinical use,” Dr. Stampanoni said.

* * *

Does imaging before surgery for cancer of the liver help with survival? Not really, researchers report. For details, see our Facebook page.

Related CME seminar (up to 22.5 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™): UCSF Breast Imaging and Digital Mammography (all-new release)

.

Permalink: http://www.radiologydaily.com/?p=13160

Related

  • No Related Posts
  • Comments
.

Would you like to keep current with radiological news and information?

Post Your Comments and Responses

Comments are closed.