Library based x-ray scatter correction for dedicated cone beam breast CT

Linxi Shi, Srinivasan Vedantham, Andrew Karellas, Lei Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose: The image quality of dedicated cone beam breast CT (CBBCT) is limited by substantial scatter contamination, resulting in cupping artifacts and contrast-loss in reconstructed images. Such effects obscure the visibility of soft-tissue lesions and calcifications, which hinders breast cancer detection and diagnosis. In this work, we propose a library-based software approach to suppress scatter on CBBCT images with high efficiency, accuracy, and reliability. Methods: The authors precompute a scatter library on simplified breast models with different sizes using the GEANT4-based Monte Carlo (MC) toolkit. The breast is approximated as a semiellipsoid with homogeneous glandular/adipose tissue mixture. For scatter correction on real clinical data, the authors estimate the breast size from a first-pass breast CT reconstruction and then select the corresponding scatter distribution from the library. The selected scatter distribution from simplified breast models is spatially translated to match the projection data from the clinical scan and is subtracted from the measured projection for effective scatter correction. The method performance was evaluated using 15 sets of patient data, with a wide range of breast sizes representing about 95% of general population. Spatial nonuniformity (SNU) and contrast to signal deviation ratio (CDR) were used as metrics for evaluation. Results: Since the time-consuming MCsimulation for library generation is precomputed, the authors' method efficiently corrects for scatter with minimal processing time. Furthermore, the authors find that a scatter library on a simple breast model with only one input parameter, i.e., the breast diameter, sufficiently guarantees improvements in SNU and CDR. For the 15 clinical datasets, the authors' method reduces the average SNU from 7.14% to 2.47% in coronal views and from 10.14% to 3.02% in sagittal views. On average, the CDR is improved by a factor of 1.49 in coronal views and 2.12 in sagittal views. Conclusions: The library-based scatter correction does not require increase in radiation dose or hardware modifications, and it improves over the existing methods on implementation simplicity and computational efficiency. As demonstrated through patient studies, the authors' approach is effective and stable, and is therefore clinically attractive for CBBCT imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4529-4544
Number of pages16
JournalMedical physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • breast
  • computed tomography
  • cone-beam breast CT
  • scatter correction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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