Bottigli, Ubaldo and Golosio, Bruno and Masala, Giovanni Luca Christian and Oliva, Piernicola and Stumbo, Simone and Bravin, Alberto and Bacci, Alberto and Serafini, Luca and Maroli, Cesare and Petrillo, Vittoria and Ferrario, Massimo and Vaccarezza, Cristina (2006) Effect of different spectral distributions to image a contrast detail phantom in the mammography energy range. Il Nuovo cimento. C, Vol. 29 (2), p. 215-228. eISSN 1826-9885. Article.
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Traditionally X-ray sources used in mammography are X-ray tubes. Synchrotron radiation sources have shown better imaging performances, but they cannot replace conventional X-ray tube systems in routine mammographic examinations. A new generation of quasi-monochromatic, high-flux X-ray sources is currently under development, based on Thomson backscattering of photons produced by a laser on a highly focused electron beam. They offer important potential applications in the medical field. In this work, we will discuss an application in the field of mammography, by using a Monte Carlo code, in which the effect of different spectraldistributions and different mean energies on the image quality is studied. A test object, consisting of a block of Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) containing air-filled holes (Contrast Detail Phantom) is used for the simulations. Results show 1–2 keV of energy spread for a quasi-monochromatic source produce images whose quality is comparable within 3–4% with those obtained by monochromatic sources and whose visibility is dramatically enhanced with respect to images obtained with X-ray tubes.
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