An iodine contrast agent, in conjunction with an X-ray cone beam CT imaging system, was used to clearly image three,
biopsy verified, cancer lesions in two patients. The lesions were approximately in the 10 mm to 6 mm diameter range.
Additional regions were also enhanced with approximate dimensions down to 1 mm or less in diameter. A flat panel
detector, with 194 μm pixels in 2 x 2 binning mode, was used to obtain 500 projection images at 30 fps with an 80 kVp
X-ray system operating at 112 mAs, for an 8-9 mGy dose - equivalent to two view mammography for these women.
The patients were positioned prone, while the gantry rotated in the horizontal plane around the uncompressed, pendant
breasts. This gantry rotated 360 degrees during the patient's 16.6 sec breath hold. A volume of 100 cc of 320 mg/ml
iodine-contrast was power injected at 4 cc/sec, via catheter into the arm vein of the patient. The resulting 512 x 512 x
300 cone beam CT data set of Feldkamp reconstructed ~(0.3 mm)3 voxels were analyzed. An interval of voxel contrast
values, characteristic of the regions with iodine contrast enhancement, were used with surface rendering to clearly
identify up to a total of 13 highlighted volumes. This included the three largest lesions, that were previously biopsied and
confirmed to be malignant. The other ten highlighted regions, of smaller diameters, are likely areas of increased contrast
trapping unrelated to cancer angiogenesis. However the technique itself is capable of resolving lesions that small.