Single Center Evaluation of Comparative Breast Radiation dose of Contrast Enhanced Digital Mammography (CEDM), Digital Mammography (DM) and Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT)

Published:January 19, 2022DOI:

      Rationale and Objectives

      The aim of this retrospective study is to compare the radiation dose received during CEDM, short and long protocol (CEDM SP and CEDM LP), with dose received during DM and DBT on patients with varying breast thickness, age and density.

      Materials and Methods

      Between January 2019 and December 2019, patients having 6214 DM, 3662 DBT and 173 CEDM examinations in our department were analyzed. Protocol total single breast AGD has been evaluated for all clinical imaging protocols, extracting AGD values and exposure data from the dose DICOM Structured Report (SR) information stored in the hospital PACS system. Protocol AGD was calculated as the sum of single projection AGDs carried out in every exam for each clinical protocol. A total amount of 23,383 exams for each breast were analyzed. Protocol AGDs, stratified as a function of patient breast compression thickness, age, and breast density were assessed.


      The total protocol AGD median values for each protocol are: 2.8 mGy for DM, 3.2 mGy for DBT, 6.0 mGy for DM+DBT, 4.5 mGy for CEDM SP, 7.4 mGy for CEDM SP_DBT (CEDM SP protocol with DBT), 8.4 mGy for CEDM LP and 11.6 mGy for CEDM LP_DBT (CEDM LP protocol with DBT). CEDM SP AGD median value is 59% higher than DM AGD median value and 40% lesser than DM+DBT AGD median; this last difference was statistically confirmed with a p-value <0.001. AGD value for each standard breast CEDM SP projection results to be below 3-mGy limit.
      AGD value for each standard breast CEDM SP projection results to be below 3 mGy, as required by international legislation.
      For dense breasts, the AGD median value is 4.2 mGy, with the first and third quartile of 3.3 mGy and 6.0 mGy respectively; for non-dense breasts, the AGD median value is 4.7 mGy, with first and third quartile of 3.5 mGy and 6.3 mGy respectively. The difference between the two groups was statistically tested and confirmed, with a p-value of 0.039.


      CEDM SP results in higher radiation exposure compared with conventional DM and DBT but lower than the Combo mode. The dose administered during the CEDM SP is lower in patients with dense breasts regardless of their size. An interesting outcome, considering the ongoing studies on CEDM screening in patients with dense breasts.

      Key Words

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