Article: article from journal or magazin.
Anatomical noise in contrast-enhanced digital mammography. Part I. Single-energy imaging
0094-2405 (Print)0094-2405 (Linking)
Hill, Melissa LMainprize, James GCarton, Ann-KatherineMuller, SergeEbrahimi, MehranJong, Roberta ADromain, ClarisseYaffe, Martin JengResearch Support, Non-U.S. Gov't2013/05/03 06:00Med Phys. 2013 May;40(5):051910. doi: 10.1118/1.4801905.
PURPOSE: The use of an intravenously injected iodinated contrast agent could help increase the sensitivity of digital mammography by adding information on tumor angiogenesis. Two approaches have been made for clinical implementation of contrast-enhanced digital mammography (CEDM), namely, single-energy (SE) and dual-energy (DE) imaging. In each technique, pairs of mammograms are acquired, which are then subtracted with the intent to cancel the appearance of healthy breast tissue to permit sensitive detection and specific characterization of lesions. Patterns of contrast agent uptake in the healthy parenchyma, and uncanceled signal from background tissue create a "clutter" that can mask or mimic an enhancing lesion. This type of "anatomical noise" is often the limiting factor in lesion detection tasks, and thus, noise quantification may be useful for cascaded systems analysis of CEDM and for phantom development. In this work, the authors characterize the anatomical noise in CEDM clinical images and the authors evaluate the influence of the x-ray energy used for acquisition, the presence of iodine in the breast, and the timing of imaging postcontrast administration on anatomical noise. The results are presented in a two-part report, with SE CEDM described here, and DE CEDM in Part II. METHODS: A power law is used to model anatomical noise in CEDM images. The exponent, beta, which describes the anatomical structure, and the constant alpha, which represents the magnitude of the noise, are determined from Wiener spectra (WS) measurements on images. A total of 42 SE CEDM cases from two previous clinical pilot studies are assessed. The parameters alpha and beta are measured both from unprocessed images and from subtracted images. RESULTS: Consistent results were found between the two SE CEDM pilot studies, where a significant decrease in beta from a value of approximately 3.1 in the unprocessed images to between about 1.1 and 1.8 in the subtracted images was observed. Increasing the x-ray energy from that used in conventional DM to those of typical SE CEDM spectra with mean energies above 33 keV significantly decreased alpha by about a factor of 19, in agreement with theory. Compared to precontrast images, in the unprocessed postcontrast images at 30 s postinjection, alpha was larger by about 7.4 x 10(-7) mm(2) and beta was decreased by 0.2. While alpha did not vary significantly with the time after contrast administration, beta from the unprocessed image WS increased linearly, and beta from subtracted image WS increased with an initial quadratic relationship that plateaued by about 5 min postinjection. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of an iodinated contrast agent in the breast produced small, but significant changes in the power law parameters of unprocessed CEDM images compared to the precontrast images. Image subtraction in SE CEDM significantly reduced anatomical noise compared to conventional DM, with a reduction in both alpha and beta by about a factor of 2. The data presented here, and in Part II of this work, will be useful for modeling of CEDM backgrounds, for systems characterization and for lesion detectability experiments using models that account for anatomical noise.
Adult, Aged, Breast/*anatomy & histology/cytology, *Contrast Media, Female, Humans, Mammography/*methods, Middle Aged, Radiographic Image Enhancement/*methods
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