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3 March 2012 Improved DQE by means of X-ray spectra and scintillator optimization for FFDM
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The focus of this work was to improve the DQE performance of a full-field digital mammography (FFDM) system by means of selecting an optimal X-ray tube anode-filter combination in conjunction with an optimal scintillator configuration. The flat panel detector in this work is a Varian PaxScan 3024M. The detector technology is comprised of a 2816 row × 3584 column amorphous silicon (a-Si) photodiode array with a pixel pitch of 83μm. The scintillator is cesium iodide and is deposited directly onto the photodiode array and available with configurable optical and x-ray properties. Two X-ray beam spectra were generated with the anode/filter combinations, Molybdenum/Molybdenum (Mo/Mo) and Tungsten/Aluminum (W/Al), to evaluate the imaging performance of two types of scintillators, high resolution (HR) type and high light output (HL) type. The results for the HR scintillator with W/Al anode-filter (HRW/ Al) yielded a DQE(0) of 67%, while HR-Mo/Mo was lower with a DQE(0) of 50%. In addition, the DQE(0) of the HR-W/Al configuration was comparable to the DQE(0) of the HL-Mo/Mo configuration. The significance of this result is the HR type scintillator yields about twice the light output with the W/Al spectrum, at about half the dose, as compared to the Mo/Mo spectrum. The light output or sensitivity was measured in analog-to-digital convertor units (ADU) per dose. The sensitivities (ADU/uGy) were 8.6, 16.8 and 25.4 for HR-Mo/Mo, HR-W/Al, HL-Mo/Mo, respectively. The Nyquist frequency for the 83 μm pixel is 6 lp/mm. The MTF at 5 lp/mm for HR-Mo/Mo and HR-W/Al were equivalent at 37%, while the HL-Mo/Mo MTF was 24%. According to the DQE metric, the more favorable anodefilter combination was W/Al with the HR scintillator. Future testing will evaluate the HL-W/Al configuration, as well as other x-ray filters materials and other scintillator optimizations. While higher DQE values were achieved, the more general conclusion is that the imaging performance can be tuned as required by the application by modifying optical and x-ray properties of the scintillator to match the spectral output of the chosen anode-filter combination.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Isaias D. Job, Nima Taie-Nobraie, Richard E. Colbeth, Ivan Mollov, Keith D. Gray, Chris Webb, John M. Pavkovich, Fred Zoghi, Carlo A. Tognina, and Pieter G. Roos "Improved DQE by means of X-ray spectra and scintillator optimization for FFDM", Proc. SPIE 8313, Medical Imaging 2012: Physics of Medical Imaging, 83135T (3 March 2012);

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