Experimental spectral measurements of heavy K-edge filtered beams for x-ray computed mammotomography.
A dual modality computed mammotomography (CmT) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) system for dedicated 3D breast imaging is in development. Using heavy K-edge filtration, the CmT component narrows the energy spectrum of the cone-shaped x-ray beam incident on the patient's pendant, uncompressed breast. This quasi-monochromatic beam is expected to improve discrimination of tissue with similar attenuation coefficients while restraining absorbed dose to below that of dual view mammography. Previous simulation studies showed the optimal energy that maximizes dose efficiency for a 50/50% adipose/glandular breast is between 30 and 40 keV. This study experimentally validates these results using pre-breast and post-breast spectral measurements made under tungsten tube voltages between 40 and 100 kVp using filter materials with K-edge values ranging from 15 to 70 keV. Different filter material thicknesses are used, approximately equivalent to the 200th and 500th attenuating value layer (VL) thickness. Cerium (K = 40.4 keV) filtered post-breast spectra for 8-18 cm breasts are measured for a range of breast compositions. Figures of merit include mean beam energy, spectral full-width at tenth-maximum, beam hardening and dose for the range of breast sizes. Measurements corroborate simulation results, indicating that for a given dose, a 200th VL of cerium filtration may have optimal performance in the dedicated mammotomography paradigm.
Crotty, DJ; McKinley, RL; Tornai, MP
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