Dual resolution cone beam breast CT: A feasibility study

Lingyun Chen, Youtao Shen, Chao Jen Lai, Tao Han, Yuncheng Zhong, Shuaiping Ge, Xinming Liu, Tianpeng Wang, Wei T. Yang, Gary J. Whitman, Chris C. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: In this study, the authors investigated the feasibility of a dual resolution volume-of-interest (VOI) cone beam breast CT technique and compared two implementation approaches in terms of dose saving and scatter reduction. Methods: With this technique, a lead VOI mask with an opening is inserted between the x-ray source and the breast to deliver x-ray exposure to the VOI while blocking x rays outside the VOI. A CCD detector is used to collect the high resolution projection data of the VOI. Low resolution cone beam CT (CBCT) images of the entire breast, acquired with a flat panel (FP) detector, were used to calculate the projection data outside the VOI with the ray-tracing reprojection method. The Feldkamp-Davis-Kress filtered backprojection algorithm was used to reconstruct the dual resolution 3D images. Breast phantoms with 180 μm and smaller microcalcifications (MCs) were imaged with both FP and FP-CCD dual resolution CBCT systems, respectively. Two approaches of implementing the dual resolution technique, breast-centered approach and VOI-centered approach, were investigated and evaluated for dose saving and scatter reduction with Monte Carlo simulation using a GEANT4 package. Results: The results showed that the breast-centered approach saved more breast absorbed dose than did VOI-centered approach with similar scatter reduction. The MCs in fatty breast phantom, which were invisible with FP CBCT scan, became visible with the FP-CCD dual resolution CBCT scan. Conclusions: These results indicate potential improvement of the image quality inside the VOI with reduced breast dose both inside and outside the VOI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4007-4014
Number of pages8
JournalMedical physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2009


  • Breast imaging
  • Dose saving
  • Dual resolution cone beam CT
  • FDK reconstruction
  • Scatter reduction
  • VOI mask
  • Volume-of-interest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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