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Computed Tomography of the Breast: Abnormal Findings with Mammographic and Sonographic Correlation

Kim, Sun Mi MD; Park, Jeong Mi MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: September/October 2003 - Volume 27 - Issue 5 - pp 761-770
Breast Imaging: Pictorial Essay

Although computed tomography (CT) is not the primary method of evaluating breast lesions, we have occasionally found breast abnormalities on CT. We retrospectively reviewed the CT findings of patients who also underwent mammography and/or ultrasonography at the same time and found that CT showed many interesting benign and malignant breast conditions. Also, some breast lesions were better visualized by CT than by mammography.

Although several recent reports have described the usefulness of contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) for visualizing lesions in dense breast tissue located adjacent to the chest wall or for identifying the extent of a breast carcinoma, 1,2 CT is not the primary method of evaluating specific breast lesions. Therefore, the CT features of breast lesions are not as familiar as those of mammography or ultrasonography. However, because CT scans of the chest and abdomen frequently include all or part of the breasts, breast abnormalities can also be identified on CT. As CT can occasionally be the first radiologic study to detect a breast abnormality, it is important to be familiar with the CT appearance of breast lesions. The purpose of this study is to help to interpret breast lesions detected on CT by illustrating abnormal conditions of the breast as they appear on chest or abdominal CT. Correlation with mammographic or ultrasonographic findings can then be established.

From the Department of Radiology, Asan Medial Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea (Drs Kim and Park).

Correspondence to: Jeong Mi Park, Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, CSC E3/311, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792-3252.

Reprints: Sun Mi Kim, MD, Department of Radiology, Asan Medial Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 388-1 Pungnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138–736, Korea (e-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.