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Med Phys. 2006 Jul;33(7):2461-71.

Voting strategy for artifact reduction in digital breast tomosynthesis.

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  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


Artifacts are observed in digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) reconstructions due to the small number of projections and the narrow angular range that are typically employed in tomosynthesis imaging. In this work, we investigate the reconstruction artifacts that are caused by high-attenuation features in breast and develop several artifact reduction methods based on a "voting strategy." The voting strategy identifies the projection(s) that would introduce artifacts to a voxel and rejects the projection(s) when reconstructing the voxel. Four approaches to the voting strategy were compared, including projection segmentation, maximum contribution deduction, one-step classification, and iterative classification. The projection segmentation method, based on segmentation of high-attenuation features from the projections, effectively reduces artifacts caused by metal and large calcifications that can be reliably detected and segmented from projections. The other three methods are based on the observation that contributions from artifact-inducing projections have higher value than those from normal projections. These methods attempt to identify the projection(s) that would cause artifacts by comparing contributions from different projections. Among the three methods, the iterative classification method provides the best artifact reduction; however, it can generate many false positive classifications that degrade the image quality. The maximum contribution deduction method and one-step classification method both reduce artifacts well from small calcifications, although the performance of artifact reduction is slightly better with the one-step classification. The combination of one-step classification and projection segmentation removes artifacts from both large and small calcifications.

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