Evaluation of scatter-to-primary ratio, grid performance and normalized average glandular dose in mammography by Monte Carlo simulation including interference and energy broadening effects.

Departamento de Física e Matemática, FFCLRP, Universidade de São Paulo, 14040-901, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil.
Physics in Medicine and Biology (Impact Factor: 2.7). 08/2010; 55(15):4335-59. DOI: 10.1088/0031-9155/55/15/010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In this work, a computational code for the study of imaging systems and dosimetry in conventional and digital mammography through Monte Carlo simulations is described. The developed code includes interference and Doppler energy broadening for simulation of elastic and inelastic photon scattering, respectively. The code estimates the contribution of scattered radiation to image quality through the spatial distribution of the scatter-to-primary ratio (S/P). It allows the inclusion of different designs of anti-scatter grids (linear or cellular), for evaluation of contrast improvement factor (CIF), Bucky factor (BF) and signal difference-to-noise ratio improvement factor (SIF). It also allows the computation of the normalized average glandular dose, D(g).(N). These quantities were studied for different breast thicknesses and compositions, anode/filter combinations and tube potentials. Results showed that the S/P increases linearly with breast thickness, varying slightly with breast composition or the spectrum used. Evaluation of grid performance showed that the cellular grid provides the highest CIF with smaller BF. The SIF was also greater for the cellular grid, although both grids showed SIF < 1 for thin breasts. Results for D(g).(N) showed that it increases with the half-value layer (HVL) of the spectrum, decreases considerably with breast thickness and has a small dependence on the anode/filter combination. Inclusion of interference effects of breast tissues affected the values of S/P obtained with the grid up to 25%, while the energy broadening effect produced smaller variations on the evaluated quantities.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is a promising technique to overcome the tissue superposition limitations found in planar 2D x-ray mammography. However, as most DBT systems do not employ an anti-scatter grid, the levels of scattered radiation recorded within the image receptor are significantly higher than that observed in planar 2D x-ray mammography. Knowledge of this field is necessary as part of any correction scheme and for computer modelling and optimisation of this examination. Monte Carlo (MC) simulations are often used for this purpose, however they are computationally expensive and a more rapid method of calculation is desirable. This issue is addressed in this work by the development of a fast kernel-based methodology for scatter field estimation using a detailed realistic DBT geometry. Thickness-dependent scatter kernels, which were validated against the literature with a maximum discrepancy of 4% for an idealised geometry, have been calculated and a new physical parameter (air gap distance) was used to estimate more accurately the distribution of scattered radiation for a series of anthropomorphic breast phantom models. The proposed methodology considers, for the first time, the effects of scattered radiation from the compression paddle and breast support plate, which can represent more than 30% of the total scattered radiation recorded within the image receptor. The results show that the scatter field estimator can calculate scattered radiation images in an average of 80 min for projection angles up to 25° with equal to or less than a 10% error across most of the breast area when compared with direct MC simulations.
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 07/2014; 59(15):4375. · 2.70 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study the generalized Modulation Transfer Function (GMTF) and the geometric sharpness (Sgeo) were used (i) to study the effects of various focal spot sizes (0.04 mm-0.3 mm), x-ray intensity distributions (Gaussian and double Gaussian), breast thicknesses (2-7 cm) and magnifications M (1.0-2.0) on the spatial resolution of an a-Se digital mammography system, (ii) to identify suitable focal spots for magnification mammography and (iii) derive optimum magnifications. For the calculation of GMTF the required components were: focal spot MTF, obtained from theory, detector MTF, scatter MTF and scatter fraction obtained from Monte Carlo simulations. The results showed that focal spots with sizes up to 0.18 mm are suitable for magnification mammography offering a GMTF which is >50% and >20% at the respective object frequencies of 6.5 mm(-1) and 9 mm(-1). Focal spots with sizes < 0.16 mm and Gaussian. intensity distribution, or sizes ≤ 0.1 mm and double Gaussian, offer a system resolution which improves or does not deteriorate with magnification for most object frequencies. For larger focal spots, i.e. 0.16-0.18 mm for a Gaussian and 0.12-0.18 mm for a double Gaussian. intensity distribution, optimum magnifications exist which depend on the object frequency and breast thickness. System resolution (in terms of Sgeo) is maximized at M = 1.8-2.0 (all breast thicknesses) for Gaussian intensity distribution, and at M = 1.4-1.6 (breast thicknesses ≤ 4 cm) and M = 1.6-1.8 (thicker breasts) for double Gaussian.
    Physica Medica 09/2013; · 1.17 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The proliferation of cone-beam CT (CBCT) has created interest in performance optimization, with x-ray scatter identified among the main limitations to image quality. CBCT often contends with elevated scatter, but the wide variety of imaging geometry in different CBCT configurations suggests that not all configurations are affected to the same extent. Graphics processing unit (GPU) accelerated Monte Carlo (MC) simulations are employed over a range of imaging geometries to elucidate the factors governing scatter characteristics, efficacy of antiscatter grids, guide system design, and augment development of scatter correction.Methods: A MC x-ray simulator implemented on GPU was accelerated by inclusion of variance reduction techniques (interaction splitting, forced scattering, and forced detection) and extended to include x-ray spectra and analytical models of antiscatter grids and flat-panel detectors. The simulator was applied to small animal (SA), musculoskeletal (MSK) extremity, otolaryngology (Head), breast, interventional C-arm, and on-board (kilovoltage) linear accelerator (Linac) imaging, with an axis-to-detector distance (ADD) of 5, 12, 22, 32, 60, and 50 cm, respectively. Each configuration was modeled with and without an antiscatter grid and with (i) an elliptical cylinder varying 70-280 mm in major axis; and (ii) digital murine and anthropomorphic models. The effects of scatter were evaluated in terms of the angular distribution of scatter incident upon the detector, scatter-to-primary ratio (SPR), artifact magnitude, contrast, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), and visual assessment.Results: Variance reduction yielded improvements in MC simulation efficiency ranging from ∼17-fold (for SA CBCT) to ∼35-fold (for Head and C-arm), with the most significant acceleration due to interaction splitting (∼6 to ∼10-fold increase in efficiency). The benefit of a more extended geometry was evident by virtue of a larger air gap-e.g., for a 16 cm diameter object, the SPR reduced from 1.5 for ADD = 12 cm (MSK geometry) to 1.1 for ADD = 22 cm (Head) and to 0.5 for ADD = 60 cm (C-arm). Grid efficiency was higher for configurations with shorter air gap due to a broader angular distribution of scattered photons-e.g., scatter rejection factor ∼0.8 for MSK geometry versus ∼0.65 for C-arm. Grids reduced cupping for all configurations but had limited improvement on scatter-induced streaks and resulted in a loss of CNR for the SA, Breast, and C-arm. Relative contribution of forward-directed scatter increased with a grid (e.g., Rayleigh scatter fraction increasing from ∼0.15 without a grid to ∼0.25 with a grid for the MSK configuration), resulting in scatter distributions with greater spatial variation (the form of which depended on grid orientation).Conclusions: A fast MC simulator combining GPU acceleration with variance reduction provided a systematic examination of a range of CBCT configurations in relation to scatter, highlighting the magnitude and spatial uniformity of individual scatter components, illustrating tradeoffs in CNR and artifacts and identifying the system geometries for which grids are more beneficial (e.g., MSK) from those in which an extended geometry is the better defense (e.g., C-arm head imaging). Compact geometries with an antiscatter grid challenge assumptions of slowly varying scatter distributions due to increased contribution of Rayleigh scatter.
    Medical Physics 05/2013; 40(5):051915. · 2.91 Impact Factor


Available from