This study retrospectively analyzed the mean glandular dose (MGD) to 133 breasts from 132 subjects, all women, who participated in a clinical trial evaluating dedicated breast CT in a diagnostic population. The clinical trial was conducted in adherence to a protocol approved by institutional review boards and the study participants provided written informed consent. Individual estimates of MGD to each breast from dedicated breast CT was obtained by combining x-ray beam characteristics with estimates of breast dimensions and fibroglandular fraction from volumetric breast CT images, and using normalized glandular dose coefficients. For each study participant and for the breast corresponding to that imaged with breast CT, an estimate of the MGD from diagnostic mammography (including supplemental views) was obtained from the DICOM image headers for comparison. This estimate uses normalized glandular dose coefficients corresponding to a breast with 50% fibroglandular weight fraction. The median fibroglandular weight fraction for the study cohort determined from volumetric breast CT images was 15%. Hence, the MGD from diagnostic mammography was corrected to be representative of the study cohort. Individualized estimates of MGD from breast CT ranged from 5.7 to 27.8 mGy. Corresponding to the breasts imaged with breast CT, the MGD from diagnostic mammography ranged from 2.6 to 31.6 mGy. The mean (± inter-breast SD) and the median MGD (mGy) from dedicated breast CT exam were 13.9 ± 4.6 and 12.6, respectively. For the corresponding breasts, the mean (± inter-breast SD) and the median MGD (mGy) from diagnostic mammography were 12.4 ± 6.3 and 11.1, respectively. Statistical analysis indicated that at the 0.05 level, the distributions of MGD from dedicated breast CT and diagnostic mammography were significantly different (Wilcoxon signed ranks test, p = 0.007). While the interquartile range and the range (maximum-minimum) of MGD from dedicated breast CT was lower than diagnostic mammography, the median MGD from dedicated breast CT was approximately 13.5% higher than that from diagnostic mammography. The MGD for breast CT is based on a 1.45 mm skin layer and that for diagnostic mammography is based on a 4 mm skin layer; thus, favoring a lower estimate for MGD from diagnostic mammography. The median MGD from dedicated breast CT corresponds to the median MGD from four to five diagnostic mammography views. In comparison, for the same 133 breasts, the mean and the median number of views per breast during diagnostic mammography were 4.53 and 4, respectively. Paired analysis showed that there was approximately equal likelihood of receiving lower MGD from either breast CT or diagnostic mammography. Future work will investigate methods to reduce and optimize radiation dose from dedicated breast CT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging