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12 March 2009 A task-based evaluation method for x-ray breast imaging systems using variable-background phantoms
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Proceedings Volume 7258, Medical Imaging 2009: Physics of Medical Imaging; 72581L (2009)
Event: SPIE Medical Imaging, 2009, Lake Buena Vista (Orlando Area), Florida, United States
For the last few years, development and optimization of three-dimensional (3D) x-ray breast imaging systems, such as breast tomosynthesis and computed tomography, has drawn much attention from the medical imaging community, either academia or industry. However, the trade offs between patient safety and the efficacy of the devices have yet to be investigated with use of objective performance metrics. Moreover, as the 3D imaging systems give depth information that was not available in planar mammography, standard mammography quality assurance and control (QA/QC) phantoms used for measuring system performance are not appropriate since they do not account for background variability and clinically relevant tasks. Therefore, it is critical to develop QA/QC methods that incorporate background variability with use of a task-based statistical assessment methodology.1 In this work, we develop a physical phantom that simulates variable backgrounds using spheres of different sizes and densities, and present an evaluation method based on statistical decision theory,2 in particular, with use of the ideal linear observer, for evaluating planar and 3D x-ray breast imaging systems. We demonstrate our method for a mammography system and compare the variable phantom case to that of a phantom of the same dimensions filled with water. Preliminary results show that measuring the system's detection performance without consideration of background variability may lead to misrepresentation of system performance.
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Subok Park, Haimo Liu, Robert Jennings, Robert Leimbach, Iacovos Kyprianou, Aldo Badano, and Kyle Myers "A task-based evaluation method for x-ray breast imaging systems using variable-background phantoms", Proc. SPIE 7258, Medical Imaging 2009: Physics of Medical Imaging, 72581L (12 March 2009);

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