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Proceedings Paper

Effect of postreconstruction filter strength on microcalcification detection at different imaging doses in digital breast tomosynthesis: human and model observer studies
Author(s): Mini Das; Caitlin Connolly; Stephen J. Glick; Howard C. Gifford
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Paper Abstract

Improved visibility of microcalcifications (MCs) and masses in tomographic breast imaging is a major concern in the medical imaging community, with intense research activity considering both hardware and processing approaches to the problem. Much of the research involves digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). In this paper, we present results of human-observer studies that investigated the effects of postreconstruction filter strength on MC detection in DBT images generated at various dose levels. The use of human observers poses severe limitations on objective-assessment studies involving multiple parameters and this paper also discusses our continued development of a visual-search mathematical model observer as a substitute for humans. In this work, DBT images were created using a rigorous computer simulation applied to realistic breast phantoms. Acquisitions with 0.7, 1.0 and 1.5 mGy doses were modeled and the Feldkamp FBP algorithm was used for reconstructions. A set of 3D Butterworth filters with cutoffs representing moderate (0.2 cycles/pixel, with pixel size = 100 microns) to no (0.5 cycles/pixel) postfiltering were tested. LROC studies were conducted with four observers. As expected, MC detectability fell off with reduced dose. At the same time, the best MC detection for a given dose was obtained with unfiltered images, suggesting that the increased noise levels associated with lower dose cannot be overcome with postfiltering. The model observer showed promising results in terms of agreement with the human observers. The causes for some points of disagreement merit examination.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 March 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8313, Medical Imaging 2012: Physics of Medical Imaging, 831321 (9 March 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.912807
Show Author Affiliations
Mini Das, Univ. of Houston (United States)
Caitlin Connolly, Univ. of Massachusetts Medical School (United States)
Stephen J. Glick, Univ. of Massachusetts Medical School (United States)
Howard C. Gifford, Univ. of Houston (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8313:
Medical Imaging 2012: Physics of Medical Imaging
Norbert J. Pelc; Robert M. Nishikawa; Bruce R. Whiting, Editor(s)

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