Microcalcifications were inserted randomly in a high resolution software phantom and a simulation procedure was used to model a MAMMOMAT Inspiration BT system. The simulation procedure was based on analytical ray tracing to produce primary images, Monte Carlo to simulate scatter contributions and flatfield image acquisitions to model system characteristics. Image volumes were reconstructed using the novel method super-resolution reconstruction with statistical artifact reduction (SRSAR). For comparison purposes, the volume of the standard acquisition scheme (50° angular range and uniform projection and dose distribution) was also reconstructed using standard filtered backprojection (FBP).
To compare the visibility and depth resolution of the microcalcifications, signal difference to noise ratio (SDNR) and artifact spread function width (ASFW) were calculated. The acquisition schemes with very high central dose yielded significantly lower SDNR than the schemes with more uniform dose distributions. The ASFW was found to decrease (meaning an increase in depth resolution) with wider angular range. In conclusion, none of the evaluated acquisition schemes were found to yield higher SDNR or depth resolution for the simulated microcalcifications than the standard acquisition scheme.