Digital Breast Tomosynthesis: Physics, Artifacts, and Quality Control Considerations.
As digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) becomes widely used, radiologists must understand the basic principles of (a) image acquisition, (b) artifacts, and (c) quality control (QC) that are specific to DBT. Standard acquisition parameters common to both full-field digital mammography (FFDM) and DBT are combinations of x-ray tube voltage, current exposure time, and anode target and filter combinations. Image acquisition parameters specific to DBT include tube motion, sweep angle, and number of projections. Continuous tube motion or x-ray emission decreases imaging time but leads to focal spot blurring when compared with step-and-shoot techniques. The sweep angle and number of projections determines resolution. Wider sweep angles allow greater out-of-plane (z-axis) resolution, improving visualization of masses and architecture distortion. A greater number of projections increases in-plane or x-y axis resolution, improving visualization of microcalcifications. Artifacts related to DBT include blurring-ripple, truncation, and loss of skin and superficial tissue resolution. Motion artifacts are difficult to recognize because of inherent out-of-plane blurring. To maintain optimal image quality and an "as low as reasonably achievable" (ALARA) radiation dose, regular QC must be performed. DBT is considered a new imaging modality; therefore, breast imaging facilities are required to obtain a separate certification in addition to that in FFDM, and all personnel (radiologists, technologists, and medical physicists) are mandated to complete initial DBT training and maintain appropriate continuing medical education credits.
Published In/Presented At
Tirada, N., Li, G., Dreizin, D., Robinson, L., Khorjekar, G., Dromi, S., & Ernst, T. (2019). Digital Breast Tomosynthesis: Physics, Artifacts, and Quality Control Considerations. Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc, 39(2), 413–426. https://doi.org/10.1148/rg.2019180046
Diagnosis | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Radiology
Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Medical Imaging