21 March 2007 Characterization of a prototype tabletop x-ray CT breast imaging system
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Abstract
Planar X-ray mammography is the standard medical imaging modality for the early detection of breast cancer. Based on advancements in digital flat-panel detector technology, dedicated x-ray computed tomography (CT) mammography is a modality under investigation that offers the potential for improved breast tumor imaging. We have implemented a prototype half cone-beam CT breast imaging system that utilizes an indirect flat-panel detector. This prototype can be used to explore and evaluate the effect of varying acquisition and reconstruction parameters on image quality. This report describes our system and characterizes the performance of the system through the analysis of Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) and Noise Power Spectrum (NPS). All CT reconstructions were made using Feldkamp's filtered backprojection algorithm. The 3D MTF was determined by the analysis of the plane spread function (PlSF) derived from the surface spread function (SSF) of reconstructed 6.3mm spheres. 3D NPS characterization was performed through the analysis of a 3D volume extracted from zero-mean CT noise of air reconstructions. The effect of varying locations on MTF and the effect of different Butterworth filter cutoff frequencies on NPS are reported. Finally, we present CT images of mastectomy excised breast tissue. Breast specimen images were acquired on our CTMS using an x-ray technique similar to the one used during performance characterization. Specimen images demonstrate the inherent CT capability to reduce the masking effect of anatomical noise. Both the quantitative system characterization and the breast specimen images continue to reinforce the hope that dedicated flat-panel detector, x-ray cone-beam CT will eventually provide enhanced breast cancer detection capability.
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J. Michael O'Connor, Stephen J. Glick, Xing Gong, Clay Didier, Mufeed Mah'd, "Characterization of a prototype tabletop x-ray CT breast imaging system", Proc. SPIE 6510, Medical Imaging 2007: Physics of Medical Imaging, 65102T (21 March 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.713751; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.713751
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