Comparison of tomosynthesis methods used with digital mammography

UMMS Affiliation

Information Services, Academic Computing Services; Department of Cell Biology; Department of Radiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Breast Neoplasms; Mammography; Phantoms, Imaging; *Radiographic Image Enhancement; *Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted; *Tomography, X-Ray Computed




RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: The authors performed this study to investigate the potential applicability of tomosynthesis to digital mammography. Four methods of tomosynthesis-tuned aperture computed tomography (TACT)-backprojection, TACT-iterative restoration, iterative reconstruction with expectation maximization, and Bayesian smoothing-were compared to planar mammography and analyzed in terms of their contrast-detail characteristics. Specific comparisons between the tomosynthesis methods were not attempted in this study.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A full-field, amorphous, silicon-based, flat-panel digital mammographic system was used to obtain planar and tomosynthesis projection images. A composite tomosynthesis phantom with a centrally located contrast-detail insert was used as the object of interest. The total exposure for multiple views with tomosynthesis was always equal to or less than that for the planar technique. Algorithms were used to reconstruct the object from the acquired projections.

RESULTS: Threshold contrast characteristics with all tomosynthesis reconstruction methods were significantly better than those with planar mammography, even when planar mammography was performed at more than twice the exposure level. Reduction of out-of-plane structural components was observed in all the tomosynthesis methods analyzed.

CONCLUSION: The contrast-detail trends of all the tomosynthesis methods analyzed in this study were better than those of planar mammography. Further optimization of the algorithms could lead to better image reconstruction, which would improve visualization of valuable diagnostic information.


Acad Radiol. 2000 Dec;7(12):1085-97.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Academic radiology

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