Evaluation of the absorbed dose to the breast using radiochromic film in a dedicated CT mammotomography system employing a quasi-monochromatic x-ray beam.
PURPOSE: A dual modality SPECT-CT prototype system dedicated to uncompressed breast imaging (mammotomography) has been developed. The computed tomography subsystem incorporates an ultrathick K-edge filtration technique producing a quasi-monochromatic x-ray cone beam that optimizes the dose efficiency of the system for lesion imaging in an uncompressed breast. Here, the absorbed dose in various geometric phantoms and in an uncompressed and pendant cadaveric breast using a normal tomographic cone beam imaging protocol is characterized using both thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) measurements and ionization chamber-calibrated radiochromic film. METHODS: Initially, two geometric phantoms and an anthropomorphic breast phantom are filled in turn with oil and water to simulate the dose to objects that mimic various breast shapes having effective density bounds of 100% fatty and glandular breast compositions, respectively. Ultimately, an excised human cadaver breast is tomographically scanned using the normal tomographic imaging protocol, and the dose to the breast tissue is evaluated and compared to the earlier phantom-based measurements. RESULTS: Measured trends in dose distribution across all breast geometric and anthropomorphic phantom volumes indicate lower doses in the medial breast and more proximal to the chest wall, with consequently higher doses near the lateral peripheries and nipple regions. Measured doses to the oil-filled phantoms are consistently lower across all volume shapes due to the reduced mass energy-absorption coefficient of oil relative to water. The mean measured dose to the breast cadaver, composed of adipose and glandular tissues, was measured to be 4.2 mGy compared to a mean whole-breast dose of 3.8 and 4.5 mGy for the oil- and water-filled anthropomorphic breast phantoms, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Assuming rotational symmetry due to the tomographic acquisition exposures, these results characterize the 3D dose distributions in an uncompressed human breast tissue volume for this dedicated breast imaging device and illustrate advantages of using the novel ultrathick K-edge filtered beam to minimize the dose to the breast during fully-3D imaging.
Crotty, DJ; Brady, SL; Jackson, DC; Toncheva, GI; Anderson, CE; Yoshizumi, TT; Tornai, MP
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