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The Role of CT in Breast Imaging

Paige Pettigrew, BS, RT(R) and Jeff L. Berry, MS, RT(R)(CT)

  *Radiographer, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
  Assistant Professor, Radiography Program Director, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Allied Health, Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 
  Address correspondence to: Paige Pettigrew, BS, RT(R), Radiographer, 7902 Ponderosa Drive, Tuttle, OK 73089. E-mail: paige-pettigrew@ouhsc.edu.

Disclosure Statement: Ms Pettigrew and Mr Berry report having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.

ABSTRACT

Recent studies on the use of computed tomography (CT) technology for breast imaging have refocused the radiology community's attention on the potential benefits of breast CT, after it was deemed not viable in the 1970s. Significant advances in technology have enabled breast CT to possibly become another alternative to mammography and magnetic resonance imaging for use in breast cancer screening. Currently, breast CT is being developed and researched with technology that is still in clinical trials and not commercially available; however, it has been recognized that CT may potentially play a major role in breast imaging by providing advanced treatment options for patients. This article discusses the components, features, advantages, disadvantages, and protocol of 2 breast CT systems—conventional whole-body scanner breast CT and the dedicated breast CT system—and demonstrates how CT may be a significant tool for breast imaging radiologic professionals. The cost and technological advances of CT make it a strong competitor to mammography in winning the battle against breast cancer.

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