2011 Joint AAPM/COMP Meeting
Ingrid Reiser, PhD
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Breast CT and breast tomosynthesis are being developed to overcome the principal
limitation of mammography, namely the superposition of breast tissue. The normal
structure of the breast can be considered a source of noise that limits the detectability of
cancer and causes the appearance of patterns that mimic a cancer. It has been shown that
anatomical noise is the dominant noise source in the detection of breast cancer in a
mammogram. Ideally, 3D imaging should reduce this noise source so that the imaging
task becomes x-ray quantum limited. To develop and optimize these systems, a 3D
breast model is essential because the limiting effects of normal breast anatomy need to be
incorporated into calculations of detectability. Standard mammographic phantoms are
not useful as a 3D breast model. In this symposium, 3 different approaches will be
described: a full simulation of breast anatomy, developing models from imaging actual
breast tissue, and a pure mathematical approach of using filtered random noise. A
following discussion period will delve into advantages and disadvantages of the different
approaches.

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