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Title: Large area CMOS active pixel sensor x-ray imager for digital breast tomosynthesis: Analysis, modeling, and characterization

Purpose: Large area x-ray imagers based on complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel sensor (APS) technology have been proposed for various medical imaging applications including digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). The low electronic noise (50–300 e{sup −}) of CMOS APS x-ray imagers provides a possible route to shrink the pixel pitch to smaller than 75 μm for microcalcification detection and possible reduction of the DBT mean glandular dose (MGD). Methods: In this study, imaging performance of a large area (29 × 23 cm{sup 2}) CMOS APS x-ray imager [Dexela 2923 MAM (PerkinElmer, London)] with a pixel pitch of 75 μm was characterized and modeled. The authors developed a cascaded system model for CMOS APS x-ray imagers using both a broadband x-ray radiation and monochromatic synchrotron radiation. The experimental data including modulation transfer function, noise power spectrum, and detective quantum efficiency (DQE) were theoretically described using the proposed cascaded system model with satisfactory consistency to experimental results. Both high full well and low full well (LFW) modes of the Dexela 2923 MAM CMOS APS x-ray imager were characterized and modeled. The cascaded system analysis results were further used to extract the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) for microcalcifications with sizes of 165–400 μm at variousmore » MGDs. The impact of electronic noise on CNR was also evaluated. Results: The LFW mode shows better DQE at low air kerma (K{sub a} < 10 μGy) and should be used for DBT. At current DBT applications, air kerma (K{sub a} ∼ 10 μGy, broadband radiation of 28 kVp), DQE of more than 0.7 and ∼0.3 was achieved using the LFW mode at spatial frequency of 0.5 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm) and Nyquist frequency ∼6.7 lp/mm, respectively. It is shown that microcalcifications of 165–400 μm in size can be resolved using a MGD range of 0.3–1 mGy, respectively. In comparison to a General Electric GEN2 prototype DBT system (at MGD of 2.5 mGy), an increased CNR (by ∼10) for microcalcifications was observed using the Dexela 2923 MAM CMOS APS x-ray imager at a lower MGD (2.0 mGy). Conclusions: The Dexela 2923 MAM CMOS APS x-ray imager is capable to achieve a high imaging performance at spatial frequencies up to 6.7 lp/mm. Microcalcifications of 165 μm are distinguishable based on reported data and their modeling results due to the small pixel pitch of 75 μm. At the same time, potential dose reduction is expected using the studied CMOS APS x-ray imager.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Solid-State Electronics Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 (United States)
  2. Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom and Diagnostic Radiology and Radiation Protection, Christie Medical Physics and Engineering, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester M20 4BX (United Kingdom)
  3. Department of Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22482379
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 11; 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; BIOMEDICAL RADIOGRAPHY; IMAGES; KERMA; MAMMARY GLANDS; MONOCHROMATIC RADIATION; PITCHES; QUANTUM EFFICIENCY; RADIATION DOSES; SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS; SENSORS; SIMULATION; SYNCHROTRON RADIATION; SYSTEMS ANALYSIS; TRANSFER FUNCTIONS; X RADIATION