Comparison of effects of dose on image quality in digital breast tomosynthesis across multiple vendors
© 2017 SPIE. In traditional radiography and computed tomography (CT), contrast is an important measure of image quality that, in theory, does not vary with dose. While increasing dose may increase the overall contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), the contrast in an image should be primarily dependent on variation in tissue density and attenuation. We investigated the behavior of all three currently FDA-approved vendors' 3D DBT systems (Siemens, Hologic, and General Electric (GE)) using the Computerized Imaging Reference Systems (CIRS) Model 011A Breast Phantom and found that for both Siemens and Hologic systems, contrast increased with dose across multiple repeated trials. For these two systems, experimental CNR also appeared to increase above the expected CNR, which suggests that these systems seem to have introduced post-processing by manipulation of contrast, and thus DBT data cannot be used to reliably quantify tissue characteristics. Additional experimentation with both 2D mammography and 3D DBT systems from GE in addition to the previously mentioned vendors, however, suggested that this relationship is not true for all systems. An initial comparison of contrast vs. dose showed no relationship between contrast and dose for 2D mammography, with the contrast remaining relatively constant in the dose range of 33% of the automatic exposure control setting (AEC) to 300% AEC for all three vendors. The GE DBT system also did not exhibit increased contrast with increased dose, suggesting that the behavior of 3D DBT systems is vendor-specific.
Zhao, A; Santana, M; Samei, E; Lo, J
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