Characterization of X-ray scattering for various phantoms and clinical breast geometries using breast CT on a dedicated hybrid system.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to utilize a dedicated breast CT system using a 2D beam stop array to physically evaluate the scatter to primary ratios (SPRs) of different geometric phantoms and prospectively acquired clinical patient data. METHODS: Including clinically unrealizable compositions of 100% glandular and 100% fat, projection images were acquired using three geometrically different phantoms filled with fluids simulating breast tissue. The beam stop array method was used for measuring scatter in projection space, and creating the scatter corrected primary images. 2D SPRs were calculated. Additionally, a new figure of merit, the 3D normalized scatter contribution (NSC) volumes were calculated. RESULTS: The 2D SPR values (0.52-1.10) were primarily dependent on phantom geometry; a secondary dependence was due to their uniform density; 2D SPRs were low frequency and smoothly varying in the uniformly filled phantoms. SPRs of clinical patient data followed similar trends as phantoms, but with noticeable deviations and high frequency components due to the heterogeneous distribution of glandular tissue. The maximum measured patient 2D SPRs were all <0.6, even for the largest diameter breast. These results demonstrate modest scatter components with changing object geometries and densities; the 3D NSC volumes with higher frequency components help visualize scatter distribution throughout the reconstructed image volumes. Furthermore, the SPRs in the heterogeneous clinical breast cases were underestimated by the equivalent density, uniformly filled phantoms. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide guidance on the use of uniformly distributed density and differently shaped phantoms when considering simulations. They also clearly demonstrate that results from patients can vary considerably from 2D SPRs of uniformly simulated phantoms.
Shah, JP; Mann, SD; Tornai, MP
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