Contrast-enhanced Mammography: A Guide to Setting up a New Clinical Program

Geunwon Kim, Bhavika Patel, Tejas S. Mehta, Linda Du, Rashmi J. Mehta, Jordana Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contrast-enhanced mammography (CEM) is gaining rapid traction following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for diagnostic indications. Contrast-enhanced mammography is an alternative form of mammography that uses a dual-energy technique for image acquisition after the intravenous administration of iodinated contrast material. The resulting exam includes a dual set of images, one that appears similar to a routine 2D mammogram and one that highlights areas of contrast uptake. Studies have shown improved sensitivity compared to mammography and similar performance to contrast-enhanced breast MRI. As radiology groups incorporate CEM into clinical practice they must first select the indications for which CEM will be used. Many practices initially use CEM as an MRI alternative or in cases recommended for biopsy. Practices should then define the CEM clinical workflow and patient selection to include ordering, scheduling, contrast safety screening, and managing imaging on the day of the exam. The main equipment requirements for performing CEM include CEM-capable mammography equipment, a power injector for contrast administration, and imaging-viewing capability. The main staffing requirements include personnel to place the intravenous line, perform the CEM exam, and interpret the CEM. To safely and appropriately perform CEM, staff must be trained in their respective roles and to manage potential contrast-related events. Lastly, informing referring colleagues and patients of CEM through marketing campaigns is helpful for successful implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-376
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Breast Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • contrast-enhanced mammography
  • diagnostic mammography
  • program implementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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