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Feasibility of Performing 2D Mammography Using CNT Source Array Designed for Tomosynthesis

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E Gidcumb

J Shan*, E Gidcumb, C Inscoe, X Qian, J Lu, O Zhou, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

TH-A-217BCD-10 Thursday 8:00:00 AM - 9:55:00 AM Room: 217BCD

Purpose: Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is the top rival of 2D mammography. Two common approaches to DBT are continuous and step-and-shoot tube motion; presenting problems with source motion blur and long scan time, respectively. Stationary DBT (s-DBT) has the potential to overcome both issues. We recently developed an s-DBT scanner utilizing a CNT (carbon nanotube) x-ray source array, and demonstrated its enhanced spatial resolution and faster scanning speed. This work explores the possibility of expanding the capabilities of current CNT s-DBT technology to 2D mammography when necessary.

Methods: A testing chamber was configured to mimic the most recent iteration of the s-DBT technology. Simulations of heat loading on the tungsten anode were conducted to predict the maximum power the anode could withstand. The minimum goal was to test if a single CNT cathode could output 50mAs in 4s, giving similar exposure of one traditional 2D view. Further testing explored the current limits of the cathodes.

Results: Results show that a single CNT cathode can easily reach the minimum requirement for a 2D mammography image and can reliably administer up to 50mAs with a 3 second pulse width at 35kVp, which is an equivalent exposure to one 2D mammography image.

Conclusions: A single CNT cathode in the electrode configuration of the current s-DBT design can successfully administer enough current to perform a 2D mammography screening image. The heat loading on the anode was sufficient for this purpose, with the limiting factor being the current design of the CNT cathodes.

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