A study on phase sensitive imaging for breast tomosynthesis applications

Anastasia Daskalaki, Gerasimos Messaris, Nicolas Pallikarakis


Purpose: To examine the potential advantages of phase sensitive imaging in breast tomosynthesis (BT) for more accurate and early detection of breast cancer.

Material and Methods: An in-house phantom with a 5 cm radius and a 3 cm thickness of paraffin wax with embedded spheres, fibers and clusters of CaCO3, simulating breast malignancies, was used. BT images were acquired with an in-line phase contrast mode using synchrotron radiation at 20 keV. Fifteen projections were obtained with an object to detector distance of 150 cm, acquisition arc of 150 and mean glandular dose (MGD) of 2.3 mGy. Attenuation based BT images of the same phantom were acquired with the use of a commercial imaging system.  In this case, 15 projections were obtained at 28 kVp, 35 mAs with MGD 1.4 mGy, within an acquisition arc of 150.

Results: In both experiments filtered back projection reconstruction algorithms were utilised, resulting in BT planes of 1 mm distance. The reconstructed planes of the two experiments were compared visually and quantitatively. The edges of the main mammographic structures appeared to be sharper in the case of phase contrast imaging, which made their detectability easier. Line profiles and contrast to noise ratio values confirmed the superiority of phase contrast BT over conventional BT imaging.

Conclusions: Tomosynthesis phase contrast imaging is a promising technique for the detection of small abnormalities in breast screening.


Breast Tomosynthesis; Phase contrast imaging; Breast modeling; X-ray imaging Phantoms

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.36162/hjr.v4i4.303


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