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X-Ray Scatter Correction in Breast CT: Advances and Patient Testing

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S Ramamurthy

S Ramamurthy*, I Sechopoulos, Emory University, Atlanta, GA


TU-F-18C-3 Tuesday 4:30PM - 6:00PM Room: 18C

Purpose: To further develop and perform patient testing of an x-ray scatter correction algorithm for dedicated breast computed tomography (BCT).

Methods: A previously proposed algorithm for x-ray scatter signal reduction in BCT imaging was modified and tested with a phantom and on patients. A wireless electronic positioner system was designed and added to the BCT system that positions a tungsten plate in and out of the x-ray beam. The interpolation used by the algorithm was replaced with a radial basis function-based algorithm, with automated exclusion of non-valid sampled points due to patient motion or other factors. A 3D adaptive noise reduction filter was also introduced to reduce the impact of scatter quantum noise post-reconstruction. The impact on image quality of the improved algorithm was evaluated using a breast phantom and seven patient breasts, using quantitative metrics such signal difference (SD) and signal difference-to-noise ratios (SDNR) and qualitatively using image profiles.

Results: The improvements in the algorithm resulted in a more robust interpolation step, with no introduction of image artifacts, especially at the imaged object boundaries, which was an issue in the previous implementation. Qualitative evaluation of the reconstructed slices and corresponding profiles show excellent homogeneity of both the background and the higher density features throughout the whole imaged object, as well as increased accuracy in the Hounsfield Units (HU) values of the tissues. Profiles also demonstrate substantial increase in both SD and SDNR between glandular and adipose regions compared to both the uncorrected and system-corrected images.

Conclusion: The improved scatter correction algorithm can be reliably used during patient BCT acquisitions with no introduction of artifacts, resulting in substantial improvement in image quality. Its impact on actual clinical performance needs to be evaluated in the future.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Research Agreement, Koning Corp., Hologic Inc., Barco Corp Consultant Agreement, Fujifilm Medical Systems

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