TU-F-18C-07: Hardware Advances for MTF Improvement in Dedicated Breast CT

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Abstract

Purpose:

In this study, we have designed and implemented a prototype dedicated breast CT system (bCT) to improve the spatial resolution characteristics, in order to improve detection of micro-calcifications.

Methods:

A 10.8 kW water-cooled, tungsten anode x-ray tube, running up to 240 mA at 60 kV, coupled with an x-ray generator specifically designed for this application, and 0.3 mm of added copper filter was used to generate x-ray pulses. A CsI CMOS flat panel detector with a pixel pitch of 0.075 mm in native binning mode was used. The system geometry was designed in a way to achieve an FOV on par with similar bCT prototypes, resulting in a magnification factor of 1.39. A 0.013 mm tungsten wire was used to generate point spread functions. Multiple scans were performed with different numbers of projections, different reconstruction kernel sizes and different reconstruction filters to study the effects of each parameter on MTF. The resulting MTFs were then evaluated quantitatively using the generated PFSs. Duplicate scans with the same parameters were performed on two other dedicated breast CT systems to compare the performance of the new prototype.

Results:

The results of the MTF experiments demonstrate a significant improvement in the spatial resolution characteristics. In the new prototype, using the pulsed x-ray source results in a restoration of the azimuthal MTF degradation, due to motion blurring previously seen in other bCT systems. Moreover, employing the higher resolution x-ray detector considerably improves the MTF. The MTF at 10% of the new system is at 3.5 1/mm, a factor of 4.36 greater than an earlier bCT scanner.

Conclusion:

The MTF analysis of the new prototype bCT shows that using the new hardware and control results in a significant improvement in visualization of finer detail. This suggests that the visualization of micro-calcifications will be significantly improved.

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