Contrast-enhanced mammography: A scientific review

John M. Lewin, Bhavika K. Patel, Aneri Tanna

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this paper we provide an overview of contrast-enhanced mammography (CEM) and a review of the published literature in order to provide a picture of the current state of the evidence on the performance of CEM. Clinical research was fairly sparse following the demonstration of the technique in research subjects about 18 years ago, but the number of publications rapidly increased following commercialization 9 years ago, and even more so in the last 5 years. Initial studies compared CEM with mammography, and clearly showed that CEM could detect cancers not visible on mammography. More recent studies have primarily focused on comparing the performance of CEM with contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in selected cohorts.These studies have almost uniformly shown CEM and MRI to have similar sensitivities, with sensitivity and accuracy showing more variability from study to study. With increasing clinical use, a large number of retrospective reviews of CEM have appeared, showing utility of CEM in the diagnostic clinical setting. Most recently, a small number of papers have been published looking at CEM for high-risk and dense breast screening, two potentially large applications of the technique, showing it to outperform mammography in both populations. CEM has clearly been shown to have clinical utility, but more prospective studies, including screening studies, are needed to further evaluate its performance, especially in comparison with MRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Breast Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Breast cancer
  • Contrast agent
  • Mammography
  • Review article

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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