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Measurement of breast-tissue x-ray attenuation by spectral mammography: solid lesions
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2016 (English)In: Physics in Medicine and Biology, ISSN 0031-9155, E-ISSN 1361-6560, Vol. 61, no 7, 2595-2612 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Knowledge of x-ray attenuation is essential for developing and evaluating x-ray imaging technologies. For instance, techniques to distinguish between cysts and solid tumours at mammography screening would be highly desirable to reduce recalls, but the development requires knowledge of the x-ray attenuation for cysts and tumours. We have previously measured the attenuation of cyst fluid using photon-counting spectral mammography. Data on x-ray attenuation for solid breast lesions are available in the literature, but cover a relatively wide range, likely caused by natural spread between samples, random measurement errors, and different experimental conditions. In this study, we have adapted a previously developed spectral method to measure the linear attenuation of solid breast lesions. A total of 56 malignant and 5 benign lesions were included in the study. The samples were placed in a holder that allowed for thickness measurement. Spectral (energy-resolved) images of the samples were acquired and the image signal was mapped to equivalent thicknesses of two known reference materials, which can be used to derive the x-ray attenuation as a function of energy. The spread in equivalent material thicknesses was relatively large between samples, which is likely to be caused mainly by natural variation and only to a minor extent by random measurement errors and sample inhomogeneity. No significant difference in attenuation was found between benign and malignant solid lesions. The separation between cyst-fluid and tumour attenuation was, however, significant, which suggests it may be possible to distinguish cystic from solid breast lesions, and the results lay the groundwork for a clinical trial. In addition, the study adds a relatively large sample set to the published data and may contribute to a reduction in the overall uncertainty in the literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP), 2016. Vol. 61, no 7, 2595-2612 p.
Keyword [en]
x-ray imaging, mammography, spectral imaging, photon counting, tissue, x-ray attenuation
National Category
Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-186559DOI: 10.1088/0031-9155/61/7/2595ISI: 000374016800002PubMedID: 26961507ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84962218185OAI: diva2:927958

QC 20160513

Available from: 2016-05-13 Created: 2016-05-13 Last updated: 2016-05-13Bibliographically approved

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