X-ray Scatter Correction in Dedicated Breast CT

Dedicated breast computed tomography (BCT) is being developed as a new x-ray based tomographic breast imaging method for early breast cancer detection and/or diagnosis. Dedicated breast computed tomography results in isotropic high spatial resolution three-dimensional (3D) images coupled with high contrast resolution. The imaging capabilities of BCT can provide the interpreting physician with exquisite anatomical distribution information not available in any mammographic view or ultrasound image. However, to maximize the efficacy of BCT imaging for diagnosis of breast cancer, much work remains to be performed to optimize its image quality. One of the major remaining issues present in BCT imaging is the inhomogeneity of the resulting BCT reconstructions, mostly due to the presence of x-ray scatter during acquisition. This effect results in sub-optimal images, with reduced contrast and distinct cupping artifacts, possibly reducing the clinical efficacy of BCT and making quantitative assessment of image features, especially for contrast-enhanced studies, challenging, if not impossible. We are developing a novel x-ray scatter reduction algorithm specific for BCT imaging. This method, based on both new hardware and software processing post-acquisition, involves negligible additional breast dose, and is independent of breast size and position.

Funding Agency: Georgia Cancer Coalition/Georgia Research Alliance

Grant Type: Cancer Research Award

Funding Period: 01/31/12-07/31/13

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(Top) Dedicated breast computed tomography clinical prototype system installed at Emory University. (Bottom) Improved image quality of breast CT image of a breast phantom with simulated lesions after x-ray scatter correction.