Sparse-view, short-scan, dedicated cone-beam breast computed tomography: Image quality assessment

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The purpose of this study is to quantify the impact of sparse-view acquisition in short-scan trajectories, compared to 360-degrees full-scan acquisition, on image quality measures in dedicated cone-beam breast computed tomography (BCT). Projection data from 30 full-scan (360-degrees; 300 views) BCT exams with calcified lesions were selected from an existing clinical research database. Feldkamp-Davis-Kress (FDK) reconstruction of the full-scan data served as the reference. Projection data corresponding to two short-scan trajectories, 204 and 270-degrees, which correspond to the minimum and maximum angular range achievable in a cone-beam BCT system were selected. Projection data were retrospectively sampled to provide 225, 180, and 168 views for 270-degrees short-scan, and 170 views for 204-degrees short-scan. Short-scans with 180 and 168 views in 270-degrees used non-uniform angular sampling. A fast, iterative, total variation-regularized, statistical reconstruction technique (FIRST) was used for short-scan image reconstruction. Image quality was quantified by variance, signal-difference to noise ratio (SDNR) between adipose and fibroglandular tissues, full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) of calcifications in two orthogonal directions, as well as, bias and root-mean-squared-error (RMSE) computed with respect to the reference full-scan FDK reconstruction. The median values of bias (8.6 × 10−4-10.3 × 10−4 cm−1) and RMSE (6.8 × 10−6-9.8 × 10−6 cm−1) in the short-scan reconstructions, computed with the full-scan FDK as the reference were close to, but not zero (P < 0.0001, one-sample median test). The FWHM of the calcifications in the short-scan reconstructions did not differ significantly from the reference FDK reconstruction (P > 0.118), except along the superior-inferior direction for the short-scan reconstruction with 168 views in 270-degrees (P = 0.046). The variance and SDNR from short-scan reconstructions were significantly improved compared to the full-scan FDK reconstruction (P < 0.0001). This study demonstrates the feasibility of the short-scan, sparse-view, compressed sensing-based iterative reconstruction. This study indicates that shorter scan times and reduced radiation dose without sacrificing image quality are potentially feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA15
JournalBiomedical Physics and Engineering Express
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Breast cancer
  • Dedicated breast CT
  • Image quality
  • Short scan
  • Sparse view
  • Statistical image reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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