Evaluation of x-ray scatter properties in a dedicated cone-beam breast CT scanner

Alexander L C Kwan, John M Boone, Nikula Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


The magnitude of scatter contamination on a first-generation prototype breast computed tomography (CT) scanner was evaluated using the scatter-to-primary ratio (SPR) metric. The SPR was measured and characterized over a wide range of parameters relevant to breast CT imaging, including x-ray beam energy, breast diameter, breast composition, isocenter-to-detector distance, collimated slot thickness, and grid ratio. The results demonstrated that in the absence of scatter reduction techniques, the SPR levels for the average breast (e.g., 14 cm diameter 50/50 composition cylindrical phantom) are quite high (∼0.5 at the center of the phantom for 80 kVp in true cone-beam CT geometry), and increases as the diameter of the phantom is increased (to ∼1.0 at the center of a 18 cm diameter 50/50 phantom). The x-ray beam energy and the phantom compositions had only minimal impact on the measured SPR. When an ideal bowtie filter was used, the SPRs at the central axis of the 14 and 18 cm cylindrical phantoms were reduced while the SPRs at the edge of the phantoms were increased. Lastly, collimation in the vertical direction had a significant impact on the SPRs at the central axis of the phantoms. These high SPR levels might lead to cupping artifacts and increased noise in the reconstructed CT images, and this suggests that efficient scatter rejection and/or correction techniques may be required to improve the quality and accuracy of cone beam CT images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2967-2975
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Breast imaging
  • Computed tomography
  • Cone-beam
  • Mammography
  • Scatter-to-primary ratio
  • SPR
  • X-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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