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9 March 2012 Partial volume simulation in software breast phantoms
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A modification to our previous simulation of breast anatomy is proposed, in order to improve the quality of simulated projections generated using software breast phantoms. Anthropomorphic software breast phantoms have been used for quantitative validation of breast imaging systems. Previously, we developed a novel algorithm for breast anatomy simulation, which did not account for the partial volume (PV) of various tissues in a voxel; instead, each phantom voxel was assumed to contain single tissue type. As a result, phantom projection images displayed notable artifacts near the borders between regions of different materials, particularly at the skin-air boundary. These artifacts diminished the realism of phantom images. One solution is to simulate smaller voxels. Reducing voxel size, however, extends the phantom generation time and increases memory requirements. We achieved an improvement in image quality without reducing voxel size by the simulation of PV in voxels containing more than one simulated tissue type. The linear x-ray attenuation coefficient of each voxel is calculated by combining attenuation coefficients proportional to the voxel subvolumes occupied by the various tissues. A local planar approximation of the boundary surface is employed, and the skin volume in each voxel is computed by decomposition into simple geometric shapes. An efficient encoding scheme is proposed for the type and proportion of simulated tissues in each voxel. We illustrate the proposed methodology on phantom slices and simulated mammographic projections. Our results show that the PV simulation has improved image quality by reducing quantization artifacts.
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Feiyu Chen, David Pokrajac, Xiquan Shi, Fengshan Liu, Andrew D. A. Maidment, and Predrag R. Bakic "Partial volume simulation in software breast phantoms", Proc. SPIE 8313, Medical Imaging 2012: Physics of Medical Imaging, 83134U (9 March 2012);

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