Di Maria, Salvatore and Oliva, Piernicola and Bottigli, Ubaldo and Carpinelli, Massimo and Golosio, Bruno (2009) Image quality simulations in X-ray mammography. Il Nuovo cimento. B, Vol. 124 (2), p. 205-222. eISSN 1826-9877 . Article.
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The application of tunable monochromatic X-rays to mammography can improve the image quality and reduce the radiation dose to the patient. A new generation of quasi-monochromatic, high-flux X-ray sources is currently under development, based on Thomson scattering of photons produced by a laser on a highly focused electron beam. In this paper we investigate the effect of different spectral distributions on the image contrast on 2 cm, 4 cm, 6 cm, 8 cm breast mammographic phantoms containing details of different composition (tumor mass and calcification details) and thickness. In the simulations we assume a homogeneous breast composition and three compositions (25%; 50% and 75% glandular) are investigated. We simulate monochromatic, quasi-monochromatic and polychromatic X-ray sources in order to define the optimal energies that maximize the image quality parameter. In particular we compare the simulations of the Gaussian quasi-monochromatic spectra. having different energy standard deviations (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 keV) with traditional X-ray tubes spectra. Results show that Gaussian spectra having an energy spread of about 1 keV standard deviation call improve the image quality of about 30% with respect to traditional X-ray tube ones.
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