18 March 2015 Monte Carlo evaluation of the relationship between absorbed dose and contrast-to-noise ratio in coherent scatter breast CT
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The objective of this work was to evaluate the advantages and shortcomings associated with Coherent Scatter Computed Tomography (CSCT) systems for breast imaging and study possible alternative configurations. The relationship between dose in a breast phantom and a simple surrogate of image quality in pencil-beam and fan-beam CSCT geometries was evaluated via Monte Carlo simulation, and an improved pencil-beam setup was proposed for faster CSCT data acquisition. CSCT projection datasets of a simple breast phantom have been simulated using a new version of the MC-GPU code that includes an improved model of x-ray coherent scattering using experimentally measured molecular interference functions. The breast phantom was composed of an 8 cm diameter cylinder of 50/50 glandular/adipose material and nine rods with different diameters of cancerous, adipose and glandular tissues. The system performance has been assessed in terms of the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) in multiple regions of interest within the reconstructed images, for a range of exposure levels. The enhanced pencil-beam setup consisted of multiplexed pencil beams and specific post-processing of the projection data to calculate the scatter intensity coming from each beam separately. At reconstruction spatial resolution of 1×1×1 mm3 and from 1 to 10 mGy of received breast dose, fan-beam geometry showed higher statistical noise and lower CNR than pencil-beam geometry. Conventional CT acquisition had the highest CNR per dose. However, the CNR figure of merit did not combine yet all the information available at different scattering angles in the CSCT, which has potential for increased discrimination of materials with similar attenuation properties. Preliminary evaluation of the multiplexed pencil-beam geometry showed that the scattering profiles simulated with the new approach are similar to those of the single pencil-beam geometry. Conclusion: It has been shown that the GPU-accelerated MC-GPU code is a practical tool to simulate complete CSCT scans with different acquisition geometries and exposure levels. The simulation showed better performance in terms of the received dose and CNR with pencil-beam geometry in comparison to the fan-beam geometry. Finally, we demonstrated that the proposed multiplexed-beam geometry might be useful for faster acquisition of CSCT while providing comparable image quality as the pencil-beam geometry.
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B. Ghammraoui, L. M. Popescu, A. Badal, "Monte Carlo evaluation of the relationship between absorbed dose and contrast-to-noise ratio in coherent scatter breast CT", Proc. SPIE 9412, Medical Imaging 2015: Physics of Medical Imaging, 94121G (18 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2082696; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2082696

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