19 March 2014 Slit-scanning differential phase-contrast mammography: first experimental results
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The demands for a large field-of-view (FOV) and the stringent requirements for a stable acquisition geometry rank among the major obstacles for the translation of grating-based, differential phase-contrast techniques from the laboratory to clinical applications. While for state-of-the-art Full-Field-Digital Mammography (FFDM) FOVs of 24 cm x 30 cm are common practice, the specifications for mechanical stability are naturally derived from the detector pixel size which ranges between 50 and 100 μm. However, in grating-based, phasecontrast imaging, the relative placement of the gratings in the interferometer must be guaranteed to within micro-meter precision. In this work we report on first experimental results on a phase-contrast x-ray imaging system based on the Philips MicroDose L30 mammography unit. With the proposed approach we achieve a FOV of about 65 mm x 175 mm by the use of the slit-scanning technique. The demand for mechanical stability on a micrometer scale was relaxed by the specific interferometer design, i.e., a rigid, actuator-free mount of the phase-grating G1 with respect to the analyzer-grating G2 onto a common steel frame. The image acquisition and formation processes are described and first phase-contrast images of a test object are presented. A brief discussion of the shortcomings of the current approach is given, including the level of remaining image artifacts and the relatively inefficient usage of the total available x-ray source output.
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Ewald Roessl, Ewald Roessl, Heiner Daerr, Heiner Daerr, Thomas Koehler, Thomas Koehler, Gerhard Martens, Gerhard Martens, Udo van Stevendaal, Udo van Stevendaal, "Slit-scanning differential phase-contrast mammography: first experimental results", Proc. SPIE 9033, Medical Imaging 2014: Physics of Medical Imaging, 90330C (19 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2043631; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2043631

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