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1 March 2019 Artifact reduction in simultaneous tomosynthesis and mechanical imaging of the breast
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Mechanical imaging (MI) uses a pressure sensor array to estimate the stiffness of lesions. Recent clinical studies have suggested that MI combined with digital mammography may reduce false positive findings and negative biopsies by over 30%. Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) has been adopted progressively in cancer screening. The tomographic nature of DBT improves lesion visibility by reducing tissue overlap in reconstructed images. For maximum benefit, DBT and MI data should be acquired simultaneously; however, that arrangement produces visible artifacts in DBT images due to the presence of the MI sensor array. We propose a method for reducing artifacts during the DBT image reconstruction. We modified the parameters of a commercial DBT reconstruction engine and investigated the conspicuity of artifacts in the resultant images produced with different sensor orientations. The method was evaluated using a physical anthropomorphic phantom imaged on top of the sensor. Visual assessment showed a reduction of artifacts. In a quantitative test, we calculated the artifact spread function (ASF), and compared the ratio of the mean ASF values between the proposed and conventional reconstruction (termed ASF ratio, RASF). We obtained a mean RASF of 2.74, averaged between two analyzed sensor orientations (45° and 90°). The performance varied with the orientation and the type of sensor structures causing the artifacts. RASF for wide connection lines was larger at 45° than at 90° (5.15 vs. 1.00, respectively), while for metallic contacts RASF was larger at 90° than at 45° (3.31 vs. 2.21, respectively). Future work will include a detailed quantitative assessment, and further method optimization in virtual clinical trials.
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Predrag R. Bakic, Magnus Dustler, Daniel Förnvik, Pontus Timberg, Susan Ng, Andrew D. A. Maidment, Sophia Zackrisson, and Anders Tingberg "Artifact reduction in simultaneous tomosynthesis and mechanical imaging of the breast", Proc. SPIE 10948, Medical Imaging 2019: Physics of Medical Imaging, 109483X (1 March 2019);

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