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Phys Med Biol. 2014 Jun 7;59(11):2659-85. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/59/11/2659. Epub 2014 May 1.

Investigation of iterative image reconstruction in low-dose breast CT.

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Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


There is interest in developing computed tomography (CT) dedicated to breast-cancer imaging. Because breast tissues are radiation-sensitive, the total radiation exposure in a breast-CT scan is kept low, often comparable to a typical two-view mammography exam, thus resulting in a challenging low-dose-data-reconstruction problem. In recent years, evidence has been found that suggests that iterative reconstruction may yield images of improved quality from low-dose data. In this work, based upon the constrained image total-variation minimization program and its numerical solver, i.e., the adaptive steepest descent-projection onto the convex set (ASD-POCS), we investigate and evaluate iterative image reconstructions from low-dose breast-CT data of patients, with a focus on identifying and determining key reconstruction parameters, devising surrogate utility metrics for characterizing reconstruction quality, and tailoring the program and ASD-POCS to the specific reconstruction task under consideration. The ASD-POCS reconstructions appear to outperform the corresponding clinical FDK reconstructions, in terms of subjective visualization and surrogate utility metrics.

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