Dedicated breast CT: radiation dose for circle-plus-line trajectory

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Mammography; Monte Carlo Method; *Radiation Dosage; Reproducibility of Results


Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Biological and Chemical Physics | Diagnosis | Medical Biophysics | Radiology


PURPOSE: Dedicated breast CT prototypes used in clinical investigations utilize single circular source trajectory and cone-beam geometry with flat-panel detectors that do not satisfy data-sufficiency conditions and could lead to cone beam artifacts. Hence, this work investigated the glandular dose characteristics of a circle-plus-line trajectory that fulfills data-sufficiency conditions for image reconstruction in dedicated breast CT.

METHODS: Monte Carlo-based computer simulations were performed using the GEANT4 toolkit and was validated with previously reported normalized glandular dose coefficients for one prototype breast CT system. Upon validation, Monte Carlo simulations were performed to determine the normalized glandular dose coefficients as a function of x-ray source position along the line scan. The source-to-axis of rotation distance and the source-to-detector distance were maintained constant at 65 and 100 cm, respectively, in all simulations. The ratio of the normalized glandular dose coefficient at each source position along the line scan to that for the circular scan, defined as relative normalized glandular dose coefficient (RD(g)N), was studied by varying the diameter of the breast at the chest wall, chest-wall to nipple distance, skin thickness, x-ray beam energy, and glandular fraction of the breast.

RESULTS: The RD(g)N metric when stated as a function of source position along the line scan, relative to the maximum length of line scan needed for data sufficiency, was found to be minimally dependent on breast diameter, chest-wall to nipple distance, skin thickness, glandular fraction, and x-ray photon energy. This observation facilitates easy estimation of the average glandular dose of the line scan. Polynomial fit equations for computing the RD(g)N and hence the average glandular dose are provided.

CONCLUSIONS: For a breast CT system that acquires 300-500 projections over 2pi for the circular scan, the addition of a line trajectory with equal source spacing and constant x-ray beam quality (kVp and HVL) and mAs matched to the circular scan, will result in less than 0.18% increase in average glandular dose to the breast per projection along the line scan.

DOI of Published Version



Med Phys. 2012 Mar;39(3):1530-41. doi: 10.1118/1.3688197. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medical physics

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID