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Proceedings Paper

Optimization of x-ray capillary optics for mammography
Author(s): Richard Edwin Ross; Carla D. Bradford; Walter W. Peppler
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Paper Abstract

The purpose of this study is to develop a full-field digital mammography system utilizing capillary optics. Specific aims are to identify optic properties that affect image quality and to optimize those properties in the design of a multi-element capillary array. It has been shown that polycapillary optics significantly improve mammographic image quality through increased resolution and reduced x-ray scatter. For practical clinical application much larger multi-element optics will be required. This study quantified the contributing factors to the multi-element optic MTF and investigated methods to determine optimal parameters for a practical design. Individual and a prototype multi-element array of linearly tapered optics with a common focal point were investigated. A conventional (MO/MO) mammography tube and computed radiography system were used. The system and optic MTF were measured using the angled slit method with a slit camera (10 micron slit). MTF measurements were performed with both stationary and scanned optics. Contributions to MTF included: distortion within individual optics, misalignment between optics, capillary channel size, and vibration. Measurement techniques used to identify and quantify the contributions to optic MTF included a phantom chosen specifically for polycapillary optics. This phantom provided a method for assessing the coherence among capillaries within an optic as well as the relative alignment of the optics within the array. In addition, modifications to the scanning procedure allowed for the isolation and quantification of several contributors to the system MTF. Specifically, measurements were made using a stationary optic, a scanning optic, and an optic placed at multiple locations within the imaged field of view. These techniques yielded the optic MTF, the degradation of MTF due to loss of coherence within the optic, and the degradation of MTF due to vibration of the scanning mechanism. Distortion within individual optics was, typically, quite small. However, MTF degradation resulting from twist was significant in some optics. MTF degradation due to misalignment was relatively large in the prototype triad. Modeling found that misalignment up to 50 microns reduced MTF by less than 10 percent up to 3 cycles/mm. Channel diameters of 52 microns and 85 microns reduced MTF by 9 percent to 20 percent at 5 cycles/mm and provided an optimal tradeoff between transmission and MTF. Vibration was identified as a significant degradation to MTF but can easily reduced with simple modifications. In spite of some reduced optic MTF values, system MTF has always been significantly improved - in some cases almost by the magnification ratio. These results allow for accurate modeling of optic performance and optimization of design parameters. This study demonstrates that a multi-element array can be produced with nearly optimal properties. A large area array suitable for clinical trial is feasible and is the next step in this program.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 May 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4682, Medical Imaging 2002: Physics of Medical Imaging, (3 May 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.465600
Show Author Affiliations
Richard Edwin Ross, Univ. of Wisconsin/Madison (United States)
Carla D. Bradford, Rhode Island Hospital (United States)
Walter W. Peppler, Univ. of Wisconsin/Madison (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4682:
Medical Imaging 2002: Physics of Medical Imaging
Larry E. Antonuk; Martin Joel Yaffe, Editor(s)

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