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Title: Evaluation of a novel collimator for molecular breast tomosynthesis

Abstract

Here, this study investigated a novel gamma camera for molecular breast tomosynthesis (MBT), which is a nuclear breast imaging method that uses limited angle tomography. The camera is equipped with a variable angle, slant-hole (VASH) collimator that allows the camera to remain close to the breast throughout the acquisition. The goal of this study was to evaluate the spatial resolution and count sensitivity of this camera and to compare contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) with conventional planar imaging using an experimental breast phantom. Methods The VASH collimator mounts to a commercial gamma camera for breast imaging that uses a pixelated (3.2 mm), 15 × 20 cm NaI crystal. Spatial resolution was measured in planar images over a range of distances from the collimator (30-100 mm) and a range of slant angles (–25° to 25°) using 99mTc line sources. Spatial resolution was also measured in reconstructed MBT images including in the depth dimension. The images were reconstructed from data acquired over the -25° to 25° angular range using an iterative algorithm adapted to the slant-hole geometry. Sensitivity was measured over the range of slant angles using a disk source. Measured spatial resolution and sensitivity were compared to theoretical values. Contrast andmore » CNR were measured using a breast phantom containing spherical lesions (6.2 mm and 7.8 mm diameter) and positioned over a range of depths in the phantom. The MBT and planar methods had equal scan time, and the count density in the breast phantom data was similar to that in clinical nuclear breast imaging. The MBT method used an iterative reconstruction algorithm combined with a postreconstruction Metz filter. Results The measured spatial resolution in planar images agreed well with theoretical calculations over the range of distances and slant angles. The measured FWHM was 9.7 mm at 50 mm distance. In reconstructed MBT images, the spatial resolution in the depth dimension was approximately 2.2 mm greater than the other two dimensions due to the limited angle data. The measured count sensitivity agreed closely with theory over all slant angles when using a wide energy window. At 0° slant angle, measured sensitivity was 19.7 counts sec -1 μCi -1 with the open energy window and 11.2 counts sec -1 μCi -1 with a 20% wide photopeak window (126 to 154 keV). The measured CNR in the MBT images was significantly greater than in the planar images for all but the lowest CNR cases where the lesion detectability was extremely low for both MBT and planar. The 7.8 mm lesion at 37 mm depth was marginally detectable in the planar image but easily visible in the MBT image. The improved CNR with MBT was due to a large improvement in contrast, which out-weighed the increase in image noise. Conclusion The spatial resolution and count sensitivity measurements with the prototype MBT system matched theoretical calculations, and the measured CNR in breast phantom images was generally greater with the MBT system compared to conventional planar imaging. These results demonstrate the potential of the proposed MBT system to improve lesion detection in nuclear breast imaging.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [3]
  1. Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)
  2. Dilon Technologies, Inc., Newport News, VA (United States)
  3. Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF), Newport News, VA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, VA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1417735
Report Number(s):
JLAB-PHY-17-2553; DOE/OR/23177-4319
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-2405; TRN: US1800481
Grant/Contract Number:
MF13-027-LS; AC05-06OR23177
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Medical Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 44; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-2405
Publisher:
American Association of Physicists in Medicine
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; breast-specific gamma imaging; molecular breast imaging; molecular breast tomosynthesis; SPECT

Citation Formats

Gilland, David R., Welch, Benjamin L., Lee, Seungjoon, Kross, Brian, and Weisenberger, Andrew G. Evaluation of a novel collimator for molecular breast tomosynthesis. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/mp.12564.
Gilland, David R., Welch, Benjamin L., Lee, Seungjoon, Kross, Brian, & Weisenberger, Andrew G. Evaluation of a novel collimator for molecular breast tomosynthesis. United States. doi:10.1002/mp.12564.
Gilland, David R., Welch, Benjamin L., Lee, Seungjoon, Kross, Brian, and Weisenberger, Andrew G. 2017. "Evaluation of a novel collimator for molecular breast tomosynthesis". United States. doi:10.1002/mp.12564.
@article{osti_1417735,
title = {Evaluation of a novel collimator for molecular breast tomosynthesis},
author = {Gilland, David R. and Welch, Benjamin L. and Lee, Seungjoon and Kross, Brian and Weisenberger, Andrew G.},
abstractNote = {Here, this study investigated a novel gamma camera for molecular breast tomosynthesis (MBT), which is a nuclear breast imaging method that uses limited angle tomography. The camera is equipped with a variable angle, slant-hole (VASH) collimator that allows the camera to remain close to the breast throughout the acquisition. The goal of this study was to evaluate the spatial resolution and count sensitivity of this camera and to compare contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) with conventional planar imaging using an experimental breast phantom. Methods The VASH collimator mounts to a commercial gamma camera for breast imaging that uses a pixelated (3.2 mm), 15 × 20 cm NaI crystal. Spatial resolution was measured in planar images over a range of distances from the collimator (30-100 mm) and a range of slant angles (–25° to 25°) using 99mTc line sources. Spatial resolution was also measured in reconstructed MBT images including in the depth dimension. The images were reconstructed from data acquired over the -25° to 25° angular range using an iterative algorithm adapted to the slant-hole geometry. Sensitivity was measured over the range of slant angles using a disk source. Measured spatial resolution and sensitivity were compared to theoretical values. Contrast and CNR were measured using a breast phantom containing spherical lesions (6.2 mm and 7.8 mm diameter) and positioned over a range of depths in the phantom. The MBT and planar methods had equal scan time, and the count density in the breast phantom data was similar to that in clinical nuclear breast imaging. The MBT method used an iterative reconstruction algorithm combined with a postreconstruction Metz filter. Results The measured spatial resolution in planar images agreed well with theoretical calculations over the range of distances and slant angles. The measured FWHM was 9.7 mm at 50 mm distance. In reconstructed MBT images, the spatial resolution in the depth dimension was approximately 2.2 mm greater than the other two dimensions due to the limited angle data. The measured count sensitivity agreed closely with theory over all slant angles when using a wide energy window. At 0° slant angle, measured sensitivity was 19.7 counts sec-1 μCi-1 with the open energy window and 11.2 counts sec-1 μCi-1 with a 20% wide photopeak window (126 to 154 keV). The measured CNR in the MBT images was significantly greater than in the planar images for all but the lowest CNR cases where the lesion detectability was extremely low for both MBT and planar. The 7.8 mm lesion at 37 mm depth was marginally detectable in the planar image but easily visible in the MBT image. The improved CNR with MBT was due to a large improvement in contrast, which out-weighed the increase in image noise. Conclusion The spatial resolution and count sensitivity measurements with the prototype MBT system matched theoretical calculations, and the measured CNR in breast phantom images was generally greater with the MBT system compared to conventional planar imaging. These results demonstrate the potential of the proposed MBT system to improve lesion detection in nuclear breast imaging.},
doi = {10.1002/mp.12564},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 11,
volume = 44,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 9
}

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  • Purpose: Radiation scattered from the breast in digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) causes image degradation, including loss of contrast between cancerous and background tissue. Unlike in 2-dimensional (2D) mammography, an antiscatter grid cannot readily be used in DBT because changing alignment between the tube and detector during the scan would result in unacceptable loss of primary radiation. However, in the dual modality breast tomosynthesis (DMT) scanner, which combines DBT and molecular breast tomosynthesis, the tube and detector rotate around a common axis, thereby maintaining a fixed tube-detector alignment. This C-arm geometry raises the possibility of using a 2D (cellular) focused antiscattermore » grid. The purpose of this study is to assess change in image quality when using an antiscatter grid in the DBT portion of a DMT scan under conditions of fixed radiation dose. Methods: Two 2D focused prototype grids with 80 cm focal length were tested, one stack-laminated from copper (Cu) and one cast from a tungsten-polymer (W-poly). They were reciprocated using a motion scheme designed to maximize transmission of primary x-ray photons. Grid-in and grid-out scatter-to-primary ratios (SPRs) were measured for rectangular blocks of material simulating 30%, 50%, and 70% glandular tissue compositions. For assessment of changes in image quality through the addition of a grid, the Computerized Imaging Reference Systems, Inc., phantom Model 011A containing a set of 1 cm thick blocks simulating a range of glandular/adipose ratios from 0/100 to 100/0 was used. To simulate 6.5 and 8.5 cm thick compressed breasts, 1 cm thick slices of PMMA were added to the Model 011A phantom. DBT images were obtained with and without the grid, with exposure parameters fixed for a given compressed thickness. Signal-difference-to-noise ratios (SDNRs), contrast, and voxel value-based attenuation coefficients (μ) were measured for all blocks from reconstructed phantom images. Results: For 4, 6, and 8 cm tissue-equivalent block phantom thicknesses, the inclusion of the W-poly grid reduced the SPR by factors of 5, 6, and 5.8, respectively. For the same thicknesses, the copper grid reduced the SPR by factors of 3.9, 4.5, and 4.9. For the 011A phantom, the W-poly grid raised the SDNR of the 70/30 block from 0.8, −0.32, and −0.72 to 0.9, 0.76, and 0.062 for the 4.5, 6.5, and 8.5 cm phantoms, respectively. It raised the SDNR of the 100/0 block from 3.78, 1.95, and 1.0 to 3.79, 3.67, and 3.25 for the 4.5, 6.5, and 8.5 cm phantoms, respectively. Inclusion of the W-poly grid improved the accuracy of image-based μ values for all block compositions. However, smearing of attenuation across slices due to limited angular sampling decreases the sensitivity of voxel values to changing composition compared to theoretical μ values. Conclusions: Under conditions of fixed radiation dose to the breast, use of a 2D focused grid increased contrast, SDNR, and accuracy of estimated attenuation for mass-simulating block compositions in all phantom thicknesses tested, with the degree of improvement depending upon material composition. A 2D antiscatter grid can be usefully incorporated in DBT systems that employ fully isocentric tube-detector rotation.« less
  • Purpose: Tour objective is to design a novel SPECT system for molecular breast imaging (MBI) and evaluate its performance. The limited angle SPECT system, or emission tomosynthesis, is designed to achieve 3D images of the breast with high spatial resolution/sensitivity. The system uses a simplified detector motion and is conducive to on-board biopsy and mult-modal imaging with mammography. Methods: The novel feature of the proposed gamma camera is a variable-angle, slant-hole (VASH) collimator, which is well suited for limited angle SPECT of a mildly compressed breast. The collimator holes change slant angle while the camera surface remains flush against themore » compression paddle. This allows the camera to vary the angular view ({+-}30{degrees}, {+-}45{degrees}) for tomographic imaging while keeping the camera close to the object for high spatial resolution and/or sensitivity. Theoretical analysis and Monte Carlo simulations were performed assuming a point source and isolated breast phantom. Spatial resolution, sensitivity, contrast and SNR were measured. Results were compared to single-view, planar images and conventional SPECT. For both conventional SPECT and VASH, data were reconstructed using iterative algorithms. Finally, a proof-of-concept VASH collimator was constructed for experimental evaluation. Results: Measured spatial resolution/sensitivity with VASH showed good agreement with theory including depth-of-interaction (DOI) effects. The DOI effect diminished the depth resolution by approximately 2 mm. Increasing the slant angle range from {+-}30{degrees} to {+-}45{degrees} resulted in an approximately 1 mm improvement in the depth resolution. In the breast phantom images, VASH showed improved contrast and SNR over conventional SPECT and improved contrast over planar scintimmammography. Reconstructed images from the proof-of-concept VASH collimator demonstrated reasonable depth resolution capabilities using limited angle projection data. Conclusion: We conclude that this limited angle SPECT approach using a VASH collimator can achieve superior 3D image quality for MBI in a design that has attractive characteristics for clinical imaging.« less
  • Purpose: In this article, the image quality of reconstructed volumes by four algorithms for digital tomosynthesis, applied in the case of breast, is investigated using synchrotron radiation. Methods: An angular data set of 21 images of a complex phantom with heterogeneous tissue-mimicking background was obtained using the SYRMEP beamline at ELETTRA Synchrotron Light Laboratory, Trieste, Italy. The irradiated part was reconstructed using the multiple projection algorithm (MPA) and the filtered backprojection with ramp followed by hamming windows (FBR-RH) and filtered backprojection with ramp (FBP-R). Additionally, an algorithm for reducing the noise in reconstructed planes based on noise mask subtraction frommore » the planes of the originally reconstructed volume using MPA (MPA-NM) has been further developed. The reconstruction techniques were evaluated in terms of calculations and comparison of the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and artifact spread function. Results: It was found that the MPA-NM resulted in higher CNR, comparable with the CNR of FBP-RH for high contrast details. Low contrast objects are well visualized and characterized by high CNR using the simple MPA and the MPA-NM. In addition, the image quality of the reconstructed features in terms of CNR and visual appearance as a function of the initial number of projection images and the reconstruction arc was carried out. Slices reconstructed with more input projection images result in less reconstruction artifacts and higher detail CNR, while those reconstructed from projection images acquired in reduced angular range causes pronounced streak artifacts. Conclusions: Of the reconstruction algorithms implemented, the MPA-NM and MPA are a good choice for detecting low contrast objects, while the FBP-RH, FBP-R, and MPA-NM provide high CNR and well outlined edges in case of microcalcifications.« less
  • A systematic set of measurements is reported for evaluation of doses to critical organs resulting from cone-beam CT (CB-CT) and cone-beam tomosynthesis (CB-TS) as applied to breast setup for external beam irradiation. The specific focus of this study was on evaluation of doses from these modalities in a setting of volumetric breast imaging for target localization in radiotherapy treatments with the goal of minimizing radiation to healthy organs. Ion chamber measurements were performed in an anthropomorphic female thorax phantom at the center of each breast and lung and on the phantom surface at one anterior and two lateral locations (sevenmore » points total). The measurements were performed for three different isocenters located at the center of the phantom and at offset locations of the right and left breast. The dependence of the dose on angle selection for the CB-TS arc was also studied. For the most typical situation of centrally located CB-CT isocenter the measured doses ranged between 3 and 7 cGy, in good agreement with previous reports. Dose measurements were performed for a range of start/stop angles commonly used for CB-TS and the impact of direct and scatter dose on organs at risk was analyzed. All measured CB-TS doses were considerably lower than CB-CT doses, with greater decrease in dose for the organs outside of the beam (up to 98% decrease in dose). Remarkably, offsetting the isocenter towards the ipsilateral breast resulted on average to additional 46% dose reduction to organs at risk. The lowest doses to the contralateral breast and lung were less than 0.1 cGy when they were measured for the offset isocenter. The biggest reduction in dose was obtained by using CB-TS beams that completely avoid the critical organ. For points inside the CB-TS beam, the dose was reduced in a linear relation with distance from the center of the imaging arc. The data indicate that it is possible to reduce substantially radiation doses to the contralateral organs by proper selection of CB-TS angles and imaging field sizes. Our results provide the first systematic study on CB-TS doses from setup imaging for external breast irradiation and can be a useful resource for estimating anticipated radiation doses as a function of the conditions chosen for imaging breast setup.« less
  • Purpose: This study investigates the image quality of tomosynthesis slices obtained from several acquisition sets with synchrotron radiation using a breast phantom incorporating details that mimic various breast lesions, in a heterogeneous background. Methods: A complex Breast phantom (MAMMAX) with a heterogeneous background and thickness that corresponds to 4.5 cm compressed breast with an average composition of 50% adipose and 50% glandular tissue was assembled using two commercial phantoms. Projection images using acquisition arcs of 24 Degree-Sign , 32 Degree-Sign , 40 Degree-Sign , 48 Degree-Sign , and 56 Degree-Sign at incident energy of 17 keV were obtained from themore » phantom with the synchrotron radiation for medical physics beamline at ELETTRA Synchrotron Light Laboratory. The total mean glandular dose was set equal to 2.5 mGy. Tomograms were reconstructed with simple multiple projection algorithm (MPA) and filtered MPA. In the latter case, a median filter, a sinc filter, and a combination of those two filters were applied on the experimental data prior to MPA reconstruction. Visual inspection, contrast to noise ratio, contrast, and artifact spread function were the figures of merit used in the evaluation of the visualisation and detection of low- and high-contrast breast features, as a function of the reconstruction algorithm and acquisition arc. To study the benefits of using monochromatic beams, single projection images at incident energies ranging from 14 to 27 keV were acquired with the same phantom and weighted to synthesize polychromatic images at a typical incident x-ray spectrum with W target. Results: Filters were optimised to reconstruct features with different attenuation characteristics and dimensions. In the case of 6 mm low-contrast details, improved visual appearance as well as higher contrast to noise ratio and contrast values were observed for the two filtered MPA algorithms that exploit the sinc filter. These features are better visualized at extended arc length, as the acquisition arc of 56 Degree-Sign with 15 projection images demonstrates the highest image reconstruction quality. For microcalcifications, filtered MPA implemented with a combination of median and sinc filters indicates better feature appearance due to efficient suppression of background tissue. The image quality of these features is less sensitive to the acquisition arc. Calcifications with size ranging from 170 to 500 {mu}m, like the ones presently studied, are well identified and visualized for all arcs used. The comparison of single projection images obtained under different beam conditions showed that the use of monochromatic beam can produce an image with higher contrast and contrast to noise ratio compared to an image corresponding to a polychromatic beam even when the latter is acquired with double incident exposure. Conclusions: Filter optimization in respect to the type of feature characteristics is important before the reconstruction. The MPA combined with median and sinc filters results in improved reconstruction of microcalcifications and low-contrast features. The latter are better visualized at extended arc length, while microcalcifications are less sensitive to this acquisition parameter. Use of monochromatic beams may result in tomographic images with higher contrast acquired at lower incident exposures.« less