Role of multidetector computed tomography in evaluating incidentally detected breast lesions


Aims and Background

Computed tomography (CT) does not represent the primary method for the evaluation of breast lesions; however, it can detect breast abnormalities, even when performed for other reasons related to thoracic structures. The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential benefits of 320-row multidetector CT (MDCT) in evaluating and differentiating incidentally detected breast lesions by using vessel probe and 3D analysis software with net enhancement value.

Methods and Study design

Sixty-two breast lesions in 46 patients who underwent 320-row chest CT examination were retrospectively evaluated. CT scans were assessed searching for the presence, location, number, morphological features, and density of breast nodules. Net enhancement was calculated by subtracting precontrast density from the density obtained by postcontrast values. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and diagnostic accuracy of CT were calculated for morphological features and net enhancement.


Thirty of 62 lesions were found to be malignant at histological examination and 32 were found to be benign. When morphological features were considered, the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, PPV, and NPV of CT were 87%, 100%, 88%, 100%, and 50%, respectively. Based on net enhancement, CT reached a sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, PPV, and NPV of 100%, 94%, 97%, 94%, and 100%, respectively.


MDCT allows to recognize and characterize breast lesions based on morphological features. Net enhancement can be proposed as an additional accurate feature of CT.

Tumori 2015; 101(4): 455 - 460




Marco Moschetta, Arnaldo Scardapane, Valentina Lorusso, Leonarda Rella, Michele Telegrafo, Gabriella Serio, Giuseppe Angelelli, Amato Antonio Stabile Ianora

Article History


Financial support: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Conflict of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

This article is available as full text PDF.

  • If you are a Subscriber, please log in now.

  • Article price: Eur 36,00
  • You will be granted access to the article for 72 hours and you will be able to download any format (PDF or ePUB). The article will be available in your login area under "My PayPerView". You will need to register a new account (unless you already own an account with this journal), and you will be guided through our online shop. Online purchases are paid by Credit Card through PayPal.
  • If you are not a Subscriber you may:
  • Subscribe to this journal
  • Unlimited access to all our archives, 24 hour a day, every day of the week.



  • Section of Diagnostic Imaging, Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine, Aldo Moro University of Bari Medical School, Bari - Italy
  • Section of Pathological Anatomy, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Aldo Moro University of Bari Medical School, Bari - Italy

Article usage statistics

The blue line displays unique views in the time frame indicated.
The yellow line displays unique downloads.
Views and downloads are counted only once per session.

No supplementary material is available for this article.