Araminta E. W. Ledger1, Marco Borri1, Maria Schmidt1, Romney Pope2, Erica Scurr1, Toni Wallace1, Cheryl Richardson2, Marianne Usher2, Steven Allen2, Nandita deSouza1, Martin O. Leach1
1CR-UK and EPSRC Cancer Imaging Centre, Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Sutton, Surrey, United Kingdom; 2Department of Radiology, Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, Surrey, United Kingdom
The classification of enhancement curves in dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) breast examinations requires image intensity approximately proportional to contrast agent concentration. We propose to evaluate the dynamic range in breast DCE retrospectively, by considering the enhancement of the internal mammary artery. This method was validated by comparing clinical examinations obtained with five different protocols (flip angles 10, 14 and 18, radial or linear k-space sampling). Significant differences were found between groups of 7-10 patients, in agreement with expected behaviour (greater dynamic range at higher flip angles, reduction in dynamic range for radial sampling protocols). Retrospective assessment is therefore a viable approach.