Development of a Stationary Digital Breast Tomosynthesis System for Clinical Applications Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Tucker, Andrew Wallace
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) has been shown to be a very beneficial tool in the fight against breast cancer. However, current DBT systems have poor spatial resolution compared to full field digital mammography (FFDM), the current gold standard for screening mammography. The poor spatial resolution of DBT systems is a result of the single X-ray source design. In DBT systems a single X-ray source is rotated over an angular span in order to acquire the images needed for 3D reconstruction. The rotation of the X-ray source degrades the spatial resolution of the images. DBT systems which are approved for use in the United States for screening mammography are required to also take a full field digital mammogram with every DBT acquisition in order to compensate for the poor spatial resolution. This double exposure essentially doubles the radiation dose to patients. Over the past few years our research group has developed a carbon nanotube (CNT) based X-ray source technology. The unique nature of CNT X-ray sources allows for multiple X-ray focal spots in a single X-ray source. Using this technology we have recently developed a stationary DBT system (s-DBT) system which is capable of producing a full tomosynthesis image dataset with zero motion of the X-ray source. This system has been shown to have increased spatial resolution over other DBT systems in a laboratory setting. The goal of this thesis work was to optimize the s-DBT system, demonstrate its usefulness over other systems, and finally implement it into the clinic for a clinical trial. The s-DBT system was optimized using different image quality measurements. The optimized system was then used in a breast specimen imaging trial which compared s-DBT to magnified 2D mammography and a conventional single source DBT system. Readers preferred s-DBT to magnified 2D mammography for specimen margin delineation and mass detection, these results were not significant. Using physical measures for spatial resolution the s-DBT system was shown to have improved image quality over conventional single source DBT systems in breast tissue. A separate study showed that s-DBT could be a feasible alternative to FFDM for screening patients with breast implants. Finally, a second s-DBT system was constructed and implemented into the Department of Mammography at UNC hospitals. The first patient was imaged on the system in December of 2013.
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  • In Copyright
  • Lalush, David Scott
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2014

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