Enhancing the image quality of digital breast tomosynthesis
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A novel imaging technology, digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), is a technique that overcomes the tissue superposition limitation of conventional mammography by acquiring a limited number of X-ray projections from a narrow angular range, and combining these projections to reconstruct a pseudo-3D image. The emergence of DBT as a potential replacement or adjunct to mammographic screening mandates that solutions be found to two of its major limitations, namely X-ray scatter and mono-energetic reconstruction methods. A multi-faceted software-based approach to enhance the image quality of DBT imaging has the potential to increase the sensitivity and specificity of breast cancer detection and diagnosis. A scatter correction (SC) algorithm and a spectral reconstruction (SR) algorithm are both ready for implementation and clinical evaluation in a DBT system and exhibit the potential to improve image quality. A principal component analysis (PCA) based model of breast shape and a PCA model of X-ray scatter optimize the SC algorithm for the clinical realm. In addition, a comprehensive dosimetric characterization of a FDA approved DBT system has also been performed, and the feasibility of a new dual-spectrum, single-acquisition DBT imaging technique has also been evaluated.