SU-C-209-07: Phantoms for Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Imaging System Evaluation




Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) is gaining importance in breast imaging. There is a need for phantoms that can be used for image evaluation and comparison. Existing commercially available phantoms for DBT are expensive and may lack clinically relevant test objects. The purpose of this study is to develop phantoms for DBT evaluation.


Four phantoms have been designed and constructed to assess the image quality (IQ) of two DBT systems. The first contains a spiral of 0.3 mm SiC beads in gelatin to measure the tomographic slice thickness profile and uniformity of coverage in a series of tomographic planes. The second contains simulated tumors inclined with respect to the phantom base to assess tomographic image quality. The third has a tilted array of discs with varying contrast and diameter. This phantom was imaged alone and in a stack of TE slabs giving 2 to 10 cm thickness. The fourth has a dual wedge of glandular and adipose simulating materials. One wedge contains discs with varying diameter and thickness; the other supports a mass with six simulated spicules of varying size and a cluster of simulated calcifications. The simulated glandular tissue material varies between 35 and 100% of the total thickness (5.5 cm).


All phantoms were scanned successfully. The best IQ comparison was achieved with the dual wedge phantom as demonstrated by the spiculated mass and calcifications. Images were evaluated by two radiologists and one physicist. The projection images and corresponding set of tomographic planes were comparable and the synthesized projection images were inferior to the projection images for both systems.


Four phantoms were designed, constructed and imaged on two DBT systems. They successfully demonstrated performance differences between two systems, and between true and synthesized projection images. Future work will incorporate these designs into a single phantom.