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16 March 2011 Adaptive diffusion regularization for enhancement of microcalcifications in digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) reconstruction
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Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) has been shown to increase mass detection. Detection of microcalcifications in DBT is challenging because of the small, subtle signals to be searched in the large breast volume and the noise in the reconstructed volume. We developed an adaptive diffusion (AD) regularization method that can differentially regularize noise and potential signal regions during reconstruction based on local contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) information. This method adaptively applies different degrees of regularity to signal and noise regions, as guided by a CNR map for each DBT slice within the image volume, such that potential signals will be preserved while noise is suppressed. DBT scans of an American College of Radiology phantom and the breast of a subject with biopsy-proven calcifications were acquired with a GE prototype DBT system at 21 angles in 3° increments over a ±30° range. Simultaneous algebraic reconstruction technique (SART) was used for DBT reconstruction. The AD regularization method was compared to the non-convex total p-variation (TpV) method and SART with no regularization (NR) in terms of the CNR and the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the central gray-level line profile in the focal plane of a calcification. The results demonstrated that the SART regularized by the AD method enhanced the CNR and preserved the sharpness of microcalcifications compared to reconstruction without regularization. The AD regularization was superior to the TpV method for subtle microcalcifications in terms of the CNR while the FWHM was comparable. The AD regularized reconstruction has the potential to improve the CNR of microcalcifications in DBT for human or machine detection.
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Yao Lu, Heang-Ping Chan, Jeffrey A. Fessler, Lubomir Hadjiiski, Jun Wei, and Mitchell M. Goodsitt "Adaptive diffusion regularization for enhancement of microcalcifications in digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) reconstruction", Proc. SPIE 7961, Medical Imaging 2011: Physics of Medical Imaging, 796117 (16 March 2011);

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