Effects of breast thickness and lesion location on resolution in digital magnification mammography
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This study aimed to examine the resolution effects of breast thickness and lesion location in magnification mammography by evaluating generalized modulation transfer function (GMTF) including the effect of focal spot, effective pixel size, and the scatter. Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) thicknesses ranging from 10 to 40 mm were placed on a standard supporting platform that was positioned to achieve magnification factors ranging from 1.2 to 2.0. As the magnification increased, the focal spot MTF degraded, while the detector MTF improved. The GMTF depended on the trade-off between the focal spot size and effective pixel size. Breast thickness and lesion location had little effect on the resolution at high frequencies. The resolution of small focal spot did improve slightly with increasing PMMA thickness for magnification factors less than 1.8. In contrast, system resolution decreased with increasing PMMA thickness for magnification factors greater than 1.8 since focal spot blur begins to dominate spatial resolution. In particular, breast thickness had a large effect on the resolution at lower frequencies. A low-frequency drop effect increased with increasing PMMA thickness because of the increase in scatter fraction. Hence, the effect of compressed breast thickness should be considered for the standard magnification factor of 1.8 that is most commonly used in clinical practice. Our results should provide insights for determining optimum magnification in clinical application of digital mammography, and our approaches can be extended to a wide diversity of radiological imaging systems.
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