Accurate Local Estimation of Compressed Breast Thickness in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Using an Iterative Reconstruction Approach

Monday, Dec. 2 11:00AM - 11:10AM Room: S503AB

Lambert Leong, MS, Honolulu, HI (Presenter) Nothing to Disclose
Thomas K. Wolfgruber, PhD, 96813, HI (Abstract Co-Author) Nothing to Disclose
Shane Spencer, Honolulu, HI (Abstract Co-Author) Nothing to Disclose
Elizabeth K. Zachariah, MD, Pearl Harbor, HI (Abstract Co-Author) Nothing to Disclose
Serge L. Muller, PhD, Buc, France (Abstract Co-Author) Employee, General Electric Company
John A. Shepherd, PhD, San Francisco, CA (Abstract Co-Author) Nothing to Disclose

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Our purpose is to describe invasive breast cancer in terms of lipid, water, and protein content using dual-energy tomosynthesis. Previous work for full-field digital mammography required an in-image calibration phantom adhered to the compression paddle to describe thickness, tilt, and warp. We show these parameters can be estimated by using an iterative reconstruction approach on the sinograms resulting in a model of the breast characteristics including local breast thickness, compression paddle tilt, and warp.


Virtual breast objects (VBO) of known geometries, defined using only five unique parameters (thickness, width, density, warp, and tilt), were constructed in simulation with MATLAB and their corresponding sinograms generated. Breast thicknesses from 1 to 80 mm and chest wall to nipple distances from 1 to 200 mm were generated to sample the space. Single coronal sinograms for training and validation sets of 9600 and 1920 VBO's, respectively, were constructed. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to generate a model which explains the relationship between the five parameters and the sinograms. Clinical DICOM header thicknesses in 24 tomosynthesis exams were also compared to the local model estimates.


We found that 25 PCA components explained greater than 99% of model variance. A comparison between iterative reconstructed models and phantom measures is ongoing. A mean thickness difference (DICOM - model) of 24 breasts was found to be 2.80 mm (SD = 2.95 mm, Min/Max=-12/11 mm). The PCA model captured the local thickness decline from the chest wall to the nipple.


We demonstrate a method to capture local breast thickness using an iterative reconstruction method in the sinogram space. The model was able to describe paddle warp and tilt. Phantom calibration of the model is ongoing and accurate local breast thicknesses were seen when compared to DICOM values in clinical images. This method can be implemented on commercial tomosynthesis systems without modification. Future studies will utilize these thickness measures with dual-energy tomosynthesis to create voxels lipid, water, and protein contents instead of greyscale values alone.


Accurate and local breast thickness measures enable lesions to be characterized by their lipid, water, and protein content through a dual-energy 3-compartment model while still in situ to better assess malignancy status.

Printed on: 07/05/20