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Optimization of the key imaging parameters for detection of microcalcifications in a newly developed digital breast tomosynthesis system

      Abstract

      Purpose

      The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of different acquisition parameters and to characterize their relationships in order to improve the detection of microcalcifications using digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT).

      Materials and methods

      DBT imaging parameters were optimized using 32 different acquisition sets with 6 angular ranges (±5°, ±10°, ±13°, ±17°, ±21°, and ±25°) and 8 projection views (PVs) (5, 11, 15, 21, 25, 31, 41, and 51 projections). To investigate the effects of variable angular dose distribution, the acquisition sets were evaluated with delivering more dose toward the central views.

      Results

      Our results show that a wide angular range improved the reconstructed image quality in the z-direction. If a large number of projections are acquired, then electronic noise may dominate the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) due to reduced radiation dose per projection. With delivering more dose toward the central views, it was found that the vertical resolution was reduced with increasing dose in the central PVs. On the other hand, the CNR clearly increased with increasing concentration of dose distribution in central views.

      Conclusions

      Although it was found that increasing angular range improved the vertical resolution, it was also found that the image quality of microcalcifications in the in-focus plane did not improve by increasing the noise due to greater effective breast thickness. Angular dose distributions, with more dose delivered to the central views, generally yielded a higher quality factor than uniform dose distributions.

      Keywords

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