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In-plane artifacts in breast tomosynthesis quantified with a novel contrast-detail phantom

SPIE, Bellingham WA, WA 98227-0010, United States
Publication Date
  • Breast Tomosynthesis
  • Digital Mammography
  • 3D Phantom
  • Technology And Engineering


The purpose of this work was to develop a contrast-detail phantom that can be used to evaluate image quality in breast tomosynthesis (BT) and as a first step use it to evaluate in-plane artifacts with respect to object size and contrast. The phantom was constructed using a Polylite registered trademark resin as bulk material, as it has x-ray mass attenuation properties similar to polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), a common phantom material in mammography. Six different materials polyoxymethylene (POM), bakelite registered trademark , nylon, polycarbonate (PC), acrylonitrilebutadienestyrene (ABS) and polyethene (PE) - were selected to form the phantom details. For each of the six materials, five spherical objects were manufactured (diameters of 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 mm) resulting in 30 objects that were embedded with their centres approximately aligned at the central plane of a 26 mm thick Polylite registered trademark block (210 mm × 300 mm). A 20 mm thick PMMA block was added to yield a phantom with attenuation properties similar to 45 mm PMMA that could simulate a so-called standard breast (50 mm thick, 50% glandular tissue). Images of the phantom were acquired using a BT prototype system that employs filtered backprojection for image reconstruction. The magnitude of the in-plane artifacts was evaluated and was found to increase linearly with increasing contrast (signal) level and size of the embedded objects. The contrast-detail phantom was found to be a useful tool for evaluating BT in-plane artifacts and might also be used to study out-of-plane artifacts and the effect of different acquisition and reconstruction parameters on image quality in BT.

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