First Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) guided biopsy in North America


LONDON, ON – Researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson) are the first in North America to perform a breast biopsy guided by Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM).

CESM is a novel diagnostic imaging tool that is able to detect cancerous lesions at a greater rate than standard mammography, and at close rate to MRI. Patients who undergo CESM receive an intravenous iodinated contrast liquid. This liquid acts as a dye that enhances the visibility of certain tissues during a radiographic imaging procedure, such as mammography or x-ray.

Currently, when a suspicious lesion is detected by CESM and not detected by standard mammography or ultrasound, the patient must return later for an MRI biopsy. Wait times for MRI can be lengthy, and the procedure itself is often long and uncomfortable.

CESM guided biopsy offers the ability to perform biopsy of the lesion of concern using mammography, after iodinated contrast injection. The procedure is faster and more accurate, comfortable and cost effective than an MRI biopsy.

The first CESM guided biopsy in North America was performed on June 12, 2020, at St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s). Dr. Anat Kornecki, Lawson Associate Scientist and Radiologist at St. Joseph’s explains, “this new approach has the potential to provide rapid and accurate access for patients and reduce costs. With CESM biopsy technology we are also able to perform biopsy of lesions that are located in areas that MRI guided biopsy cannot reach.”

“Our initial experience has been very successful, and we hope to see an impact on patient care as well as breast cancer outcomes,” says Dr. Kornecki.

The study will recruit 50 patients who have a suspect finding detected using CESM.




See all Lawson Media Releases

About Lawson Health Research Institute

Lawson Health Research Institute is one of Canada’s top hospital-based research institutes, tackling the most pressing challenges in health care. As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London, our innovation happens where care is delivered. Lawson research teams are at the leading-edge of science with the goal of improving health and the delivery of care for patients. Working in partnership with Western University, our researchers are encouraged to pursue their curiosity, collaborate often and share their discoveries widely. Research conducted through Lawson makes a difference in the lives of patients, families and communities around the world. To learn more, visit

Media Contacts
Celine Zadorsky

Communications Consultant & External Relations
Lawson Health Research Institute
T: 519-685-8500 ext. 75664
C. 519-619-3872