Image Quality of Thick Average Intensity Pixel Slabs Using Statistical Artifact Reduction in Breast Tomosynthesis
Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) has the potential to replace or supplement Digital Mammography (DM). Studies have shown that it takes radiologists more time to read DBT examinations compared with DM. The slice separation of image volumes has been set to 1 mm on most systems. By using thicker slices review time could be reduced. This paper investigates the possibility of using 2 mm Average Intensity Pixel (AIP) slabs for image review. The thicker slabs were created using a method based on statistical artifact reduction and super-resolution. Six radiologists were presented with 20 sets of images containing 16 tumor masses and 8 micro-calcification clusters. They ranked 2 mm slabbed sets relative to standard 1 mm. Visibility (P = .0044) of micro-calcifications improved and there was no significant effect on mass visibility (P = .46). The results indicate that it is possible to review DBT-volumes with 2 mm slabs without compromising image quality.
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