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Radiology. 1997 Nov;205(2):399-406.

Digital tomosynthesis in breast imaging.

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  • 1Department of Radiological Sciences, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114, USA.



To describe and evaluate a method of tomosynthesis breast imaging with a full-field digital mammographic system.


In this tomosynthesis method, low-radiation-dose images were acquired as the x-ray source was moved in an arc above the stationary breast and digital detector. A step-and-expose method of imaging was used. Breast tomosynthesis and conventional images of two imaging phantoms and four mastectomy specimens were obtained. Three experienced readers scored the relative lesion visibility, lesion margin visibility, and confidence in the classification of six lesions.


Tomosynthesis image-reconstruction algorithms allow tomographic imaging of the entire breast from a single arc of the x-ray source and at a radiation dose comparable with that in single-view mammography. Except for images of a large mass in a fatty breast, the tomosynthesis images were superior to the conventional images.


Digital mammographic systems make breast tomosynthesis possible. Tomosynthesis may improve the specificity of mammography with improved lesion margin visibility and may improve early breast cancer detection, especially in women with radiographically dense breasts.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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