RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES Low-dose chest computed tomography (LDCT), increasingly being used for screening of lung cancer, may also be used to measure breast density, which is proven as a risk factor for breast cancer. In this study, we developed a segmentation method to measure quantitative breast density on CT images and correlated with magnetic resonance density. MATERIALS AND METHODS Forty healthy women receiving both LDCT and breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were studied. A semiautomatic method was applied to quantify the breast density on LDCT images. The intra- and interoperator reproducibility was evaluated. The volumetric density on MRI was obtained by using a well-established automatic template-based segmentation method. The breast volume (BV), fibroglandular tissue volume (FV), and percent breast density (PD) measured on LDCT and MRI were compared. RESULTS The measurements of BV, FV, and PD on LDCT images yield highly consistent results, with the intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.999 for BV, 0.977 for FV, and 0.966 for PD for intraoperator reproducibility, and intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.953 for BV, 0.974 for FV, and 0.973 for PD for interoperator reproducibility. The BV, FV, and PD measured on LDCT and MRI were well correlated (all r ≥ 0.90). Bland-Altman plots showed that a larger BV and FV were measured on LDCT than on MRI. CONCLUSIONS The preliminary results showed that quantitative breast density can be measured from LDCT, and that our segmentation method could yield a high reproducibility on the measured volume and PD. The results measured on LDCT and MRI were highly correlated. Our results showed that LDCT may provide valuable information about breast density for evaluating breast cancer risk.
J. Chen, Siwa Chan, N. Lu