Design and development of a fully-3D dedicated x-ray computed mammotomography system
Our effort to implement a volumetric x-ray computed mammotomography (CmT) system dedicated to imaging breast disease comprises: demonstrated development of a quasi-monochromatic x-ray beam providing minimal dose and other optimal imaging figures of merit; new development of a compact, variable field-of-view, fully-3D acquisition gantry with a digital flat-panel detector facilitating more nearly complete sampling of frequency space and the physical breast volume; incorporation of iterative ordered-subsets transmission (OSTR) image reconstruction allowing modeling of the system matrix. Here, we describe the prototype 3D gantry and demonstrate initial system performance. Data collected on the prototype gantry demonstrate the feasibility of using OSTR with realistic reconstruction times. The gantry consists of a rotating W-anode x-ray tube using ultra-thick K-edge filtration, and an ∼20×25cm2digital flat-panel detector located at <60cm SID. This source/detector combination can be shifted laterally changing the location of the central ray relative to the system center-of-rotation, hence changing the effective imaging field-of-view, and is mounted on a goniometric cradle allowing <50° polar tilt, then on a 360° azimuthal rotation stage. Combined, these stages provide for positioning flexibility in a banded region about a sphere, facilitating simple circle-plus-arc-like trajectories, as well as considerably more complex 3D trajectories. Complex orbits are necessary to avoid physical hindrances from the patient while acquiring the largest imaging volume of the breast. The system capabilities are demonstrated with fully-3D reconstructed images of geometric sampling and resolution phantoms, a fabricated breast phantom containing internal features of interest, and a cadaveric breast specimen. This compact prototype provides flexibility in dedicated, fully-SD CmT imaging of healthy and diseased breasts.
Tornai, MP; McKinley, RL; Brzymialkiewicz, CN; Madhav, P; Cutler, SJ; Crotty, DJ; Bowsher, JE; Samei, E; Floyd, CE
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