The purpose of the study was to find out whether the image quality in full-field digital mammography can be improved while lowering the patient dose by removing the anti-scatter grid. Moreover, a fast approximate computational algorithm was developed for determining the scattered field in a real mammogram. The method is non-iterative, robust against noise, and works without modification for any scatter-to-primary ratio. Furthermore, it is computationally effective since it is based on fast Fourier transform (FFT).
It was found out that the wide dynamic range of digital detectors leads to decrease in patient dose from 10.9% up to 46.6% at breast thickness of 2cm and from 0.8% up to 40.8% at breast thickness of 4cm depending on the efficiency of the removed grid. At constant patient dose the increase in contrast-to-noise ratio is 5.8% - 36.9% and 0.4%-30.0% accordingly at those two breast thickness.
The convolution-based X-ray scatter model was considered. The developed scatter removal method was demonstrated with simulated mammograms and applied to clinical full-field digital mammograms acquired with a high-end digital flat panel detector based on amorphous selenium. Errors in reconstructed scattered fields were 0.3% in case of an ideal simulated mammogram and 7.4% in case of a real simulated mammogram (3cm breast). Applications where the scattered field needs to be determined include 3-D mammography and dual-energy breast imaging. In screening mammography gray-scale optimization eliminates the effect of scattering.