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Title: Algorithmic scatter correction in dual-energy digital mammography
Authors: Chen, X
Nishikawa, RM
Chan, ST
Lau, BA
Zhang, L 
Mou, X
Keywords: Calcification
Dual energy
Scatter correction
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Amer Assoc Physicists Medicine Amer Inst Physics
Source: Medical physics, 2013, v. 40, no. 11, 111919 How to cite?
Journal: Medical Physics 
Abstract: Purpose: Small calcifications are often the earliest and the main indicator of breast cancer. Dual-energy digital mammography (DEDM) has been considered as a promising technique to improve the detectability of calcifications since it can be used to suppress the contrast between adipose and glandular tissues of the breast. X-ray scatter leads to erroneous calculations of the DEDM image. Although the pinhole-array interpolation method can estimate scattered radiations, it requires extra exposures to measure the scatter and apply the correction. The purpose of this work is to design an algorithmic method for scatter correction in DEDM without extra exposures. Methods: In this paper, a scatter correction method for DEDM was developed based on the knowledge that scattered radiation has small spatial variation and that the majority of pixels in a mammogram are noncalcification pixels. The scatter fraction was estimated in the DEDM calculation and the measured scatter fraction was used to remove scatter from the image. The scatter correction method was implemented on a commercial full-field digital mammography system with breast tissue equivalent phantom and calcification phantom. The authors also implemented the pinhole-array interpolation scatter correction method on the system. Phantom results for both methods are presented and discussed. The authors compared the background DE calcification signals and the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of calcifications in the three DE calcification images: image without scatter correction, image with scatter correction using pinhole-array interpolation method, and image with scatter correction using the authors' algorithmic method. Results: The authors' results show that the resultant background DE calcification signal can be reduced. The root-mean-square of background DE calcification signal of 1962 μm with scatter-uncorrected data was reduced to 194 μm after scatter correction using the authors' algorithmic method. The range of background DE calcification signals using scatter-uncorrected data was reduced by 58% with scatter-corrected data by algorithmic method. With the scatter-correction algorithm and denoising, the minimum visible calcification size can be reduced from 380 to 280 μm. Conclusions: When applying the proposed algorithmic scatter correction to images, the resultant background DE calcification signals can be reduced and the CNR of calcifications can be improved. This method has similar or even better performance than pinhole-array interpolation method in scatter correction for DEDM; moreover, this method is convenient and requires no extra exposure to the patient. Although the proposed scatter correction method is effective, it is validated by a 5-cm-thick phantom with calcifications and homogeneous background. The method should be tested on structured backgrounds to more accurately gauge effectiveness.
ISSN: 0094-2405
DOI: 10.1118/1.4826173
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