Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM)

Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) is a special type of mammogram that is often performed on patients whose standard breast imaging tests are inconclusive. CESM uses iodinated contrast to reveal areas of increased blood supply within the breast. This information can be quite useful, since breast cancer typically has a larger blood supply than normal tissue.

Advanced technology in breast cancer detection.

Eastern Radiologists understands that every patient is different. A tool that works well in one case may yield inconclusive results for the rest. We are proud to have CESM as yet another option in the diagnosis and management of breast cancer. It allows us to further explore an abnormality revealed on a mammogram or ultrasound, but CESM is also especially useful for patients with dense breast tissue or at high risk for breast cancer. Our experienced and fellowship-trained mammographers perform CESM at our nationally recognized Breast Imaging Center, along with 2D digital mammography, 3D mammography, exclusive 3D breast biopsy and breast MRI. Whatever your needs are, Eastern Radiologists offers comprehensive breast health services in one comfortable and convenient location.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is CESM different from a regular mammogram?

CESM is performed like a diagnostic mammogram but then an injection of iodinated contrast material—the same contrast used in CT examinations is administered. Then a few extra images are taken to show the contrast; however, these low-dose images only increase the total radiation dosage by about 20%.

How long does the procedure take?

You should plan to be in our office for approximately one hour.

Will my insurance cover CESM?

CESM is covered by most insurance companies. It is the same charge as a diagnostic mammogram, plus the cost of the contrast injection.

Does my doctor have to order a CESM for me?

Yes, just like a diagnostic mammogram, CESM requires a doctor’s order.

Who performs the exam?

Specially trained mammography technologists perform CESM. A specialized radiologist will interpret the images, and a written report will be sent to your referring doctor.

Will I be able to drive myself afterwards? Do I need to bring someone with me?

If you normally drive yourself to your doctor’s appointments, then you will be able to drive after a CESM. You are welcome to bring a friend or family member, but it is not required.

Schedule an appointment.

Please have your doctor schedule your appointment for this service. If you have questions about your appointment or need to reschedule call 252.752.5000. This service is offered at the following locations:

Prepare for your appointment.

Please see the BIC contrast questionnaire link prior to your appointment. Because of the contrast injection, please do not eat or drink for four hours prior to the exam. Just as with all mammogram exams, please bring any outside mammograms to your appointment. Two-piece outfits are recommended for easy changing, and please do not apply deodorant, powder or lotion on the day of the exam.