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In vivo measurement of the effective atomic number of breast skin using spectral mammography
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics, Physics of Medical Imaging. Royal Inst Technol KTH, Dept Phys, Stockholm, Sweden.;Philips Mammog Solut, Kista, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9152-9089
Karolinska Inst, Dept Med Epidemiol & Biostat, Stockholm, Sweden..
Karolinska Inst, Dept Med Epidemiol & Biostat, Stockholm, Sweden.;South Gen Hosp, Dept Oncol, Stockholm, Sweden..
Addenbrookes Hosp, Cambridge Breast Unit, Cambridge, England.;Addenbrookes Hosp, NIHR Cambridge Biomed Res Ctr, Cambridge, England..
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2018 (English)In: Physics in Medicine and Biology, ISSN 0031-9155, E-ISSN 1361-6560, Vol. 63, no 21, article id 215023Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

X-ray characteristics of body tissues are of crucial importance for developing and optimizing x-ray imaging techniques, in particular for dosimetry and spectral imaging applications. For breast imaging, the most important tissues are fibro-glandular, adipose and skin tissue. Some work has and is being done to better characterize these tissue types, in particular fibro-glandular and adipose tissue. In the case of breast skin, several recent studies have been published on the average skin thickness, but with regards to x-ray attenuation, the only published data, to the knowledge of the authors, is the elemental composition analysis of Hammerstein et al (1979 Radiology 130 485-91). This work presents an overview of breast skin thickness studies and a measurement of the effective atomic number (Z(eff)) of breast skin using spectral mammography. Z(eff), which together with the density forms the attenuation, is used to validate the work by Hammerstein et al, and the dependence of clinical parameters on Z(eff) is explored. Measurements were conducted on the skin edge of spectral mammograms using clinical data from a screening population (n = 709). The weighted average of breast skin thickness reported in studies between 1997 and 2013 was found to be 1.56 +/- 0.28 mm. Mean Z(eff) was found to be 7.365 (95% CI: 7.364,7.366) for normal breast skin and 7.441 (95% CI: 7.440,7.442) for the nipple and areola. Z(eff) of normal breast skin is in agreement with Hammerstein et al, despite the different methods and larger sample size used. A small but significant increase in Z(eff) was found with age, but the increase is too small to be relevant for most applications. We conclude that normal breast skin is well described by a 1.56 mm skin layer and the elemental composition presented by Hammerstein et al (1979 Radiology 130 485-91) and recommend using these characteristics when modelling breast skin.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP), 2018. Vol. 63, no 21, article id 215023
Keywords [en]
effective atomic number, skin, spectral imaging, mammography, x-ray attenuation
National Category
Medical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-239084DOI: 10.1088/1361-6560/aae78cISI: 000449061500002PubMedID: 30375362Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85055614671OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-239084DiVA, id: diva2:1264901
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

QC 20191121

Available from: 2018-11-21 Created: 2018-11-21 Last updated: 2019-03-18Bibliographically approved

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