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Title: Evolution of spatial resolution in breast CT at UC Davis

Purpose: Dedicated breast computed tomography (bCT) technology for the purpose of breast cancer screening has been a focus of research at UC Davis since the late 1990s. Previous studies have shown that improvement in spatial resolution characteristics of this modality correlates with greater microcalcification detection, a factor considered a potential limitation of bCT. The aim of this study is to improve spatial resolution as characterized by the modulation transfer function (MTF) via changes in the scanner hardware components and operational schema. Methods: Four prototypes of pendant-geometry, cone-beam breast CT scanners were designed and developed spanning three generations of design evolution. To improve the system MTF in each bCT generation, modifications were made to the imaging components (x-ray tube and flat-panel detector), system geometry (source-to-isocenter and detector distance), and image acquisition parameters (technique factors, number of projections, system synchronization scheme, and gantry rotational speed). Results: Characterization of different generations of bCT systems shows these modifications resulted in a 188% improvement of the limiting MTF properties from the first to second generation and an additional 110% from the second to third. The intrinsic resolution degradation in the azimuthal direction observed in the first generation was corrected by changing the acquisition from continuousmore » to pulsed x-ray acquisition. Utilizing a high resolution detector in the third generation, along with modifications made in system geometry and scan protocol, resulted in a 125% improvement in limiting resolution. An additional 39% improvement was obtained by changing the detector binning mode from 2 × 2 to 1 × 1. Conclusions: These results underscore the advancement in spatial resolution characteristics of breast CT technology. The combined use of a pulsed x-ray system, higher resolution flat-panel detector and changing the scanner geometry and image acquisition logic resulted in a significant fourfold improvement in MTF.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ; ;  [4]
  1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616 (United States)
  2. Department of Radiological Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 940 N.E. 13th Street, Nicholson Tower, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104 (United States)
  3. Department of Radiology, University of California, Davis Medical Center, 4860 Y Street, Suite 3100 Ellison Building, Sacramento, California 95817 (United States)
  4. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616 and Department of Radiology, University of California, Davis Medical Center, 4860 Y Street, Suite 3100 Ellison Building, Sacramento, California 95817 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22413523
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: (c) 2015 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY; MAMMARY GLANDS; NEOPLASMS; SPATIAL RESOLUTION