A phantom study comparing technical image quality of five breast tomosynthesis systems.


HUS Medical Imaging Center, Radiology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Finland; Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is a three-dimensional breast imaging method. DBT vendors employ various approaches in both image acquisition and data processing, which may affect image quality and radiation exposure to patients.
OBJECTIVE : This study aimed to evaluate the performance of five DBT systems: Fujifilm Amulet Innovality (using both a standard mode and high-resolution mode), GE Senographe Essential, Hologic Selenia Dimensions, Planmed Clarity 3D, and Siemens Mammomat Inspiration.
METHODS : The performance of each device and imaging technique was evaluated and compared by phantom measurements performed with four quality assurance phantoms. Technical image quality assessments consisted of measuring artefact extent, in-plane resolution, relative noise power spectrum, and geometric accuracy.
RESULTS : Artefact spreading varied remarkably between the devices, and the full width at half maximum values of artefact spread functions varied from 3.5 mm to 10.7 mm. Noticeable in-plane resolution anisotropy, determined using modulation transfer function (MTF) analysis, was typically observed between tube travel direction and chest wall-nipple direction. The MTF50 varied from 1.1 mm-1 to 1.6 mm-1 and from 1.5 mm-1 to 4.1 mm-1 in the tube travel and chest wall-nipple directions, respectively. Moreover, distinctly different noise power spectra were observed between the systems. The geometric accuracy in every system was within 0.5%.
CONCLUSIONS : Technical image quality assessments with image quality phantoms revealed remarkable differences in artefact spread, in-plane resolution, and noise properties between the DBT systems and imaging methods.


Digital breast tomosynthesis,Image quality,Quality control,