An edge spread technique for measurement of the scatter-to-primary ratio in mammography

Virgil N. Cooper, John M Boone, J Anthony Seibert, Claire J. Pellot-Barakat

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48 Scopus citations


An experimental measurement technique that directly measures the magnitude and spatial distribution of scatter in relation to primary radiation is presented in this work. The technique involves the acquisition of magnified edge spread function (ESF) images with and without scattering material present. The ESFs are normalized and subtracted to yield scatter-to- primary ratios (SPRs), along with the spatial distributions of scatter and primary radiation. Mammography is used as the modality to demonstrate the ESF method, which is applicable to all radiographic environments. Sets of three images were acquired with a modified clinical mammography system employing a flat panel detector for 2, 4, 6, and 8 cm thick breast tissue equivalent material phantoms composed of 0%, 43%, and 100% glandular tissue at four different kV settings. Beam stop measurements of scatter were used to validate the ESF methodology. There was good agreement of the mean SPRs between the beam stop and ESF methods. There was good precision in the ESF- determined SPRs with a coefficient of variation on the order of 5%. SPRs ranged from 0.2 to 2.0 and were effectively independent of energy for clinically realistic kVps. The measured SPRs for 2, 4, and 6 cm 0% glandular phantoms imaged at 28 kV were 0.21 ± 0.01, 0.39 ± 0.01, and 0.57 ± 0.02, respectively. The measured SPRs for 2, 4, and 6 cm 43% glandular phantoms imaged at 28 kV were 0.20 ± 0.01, 0.35 ± 0.02, and 0.53 ± 0.02, respectively. The measured SPRs for 2, 4, and 6 cm 100% glandular phantoms imaged at 28 kV were 0.22 ± 0.02, 0.42 ± 0.03, and 0.88 ± 0.08, respectively. (C) 2000 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-853
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2000



  • Catter-to-primary ratio (SPR)
  • Edge spread function (ESF)
  • Mammography
  • Measurement technique
  • Scatter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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