Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Digital breast tomosynthesis is a new technology that provides three-dimensional information of the breast and makes it possible to distinguish the cancer from overlying breast tissues. We are dedicated to optimizing image reconstruction and imaging configuration for a new multi-beam parallel digital breast tomosynthesis prototype system. Several commonly used algorithms from the typical image reconstruction models which were used for iso-centric tomosynthesis systems were investigated for our multi-beam parallel tomosynthesis imaging system. The representative algorithms, including back-projection (BP), filtered back-projection (FBP), matrix inversion tomosynthesis reconstruction (MITS), maximum likelihood expectation maximization (MLEM), ordered-subset maximum likelihood expectation maximization (OS-MLEM), simultaneous algebraic reconstruction technique (SART), were implemented to fit our system design. An accelerated MLEM algorithm was proposed, which significantly reduced the running time but had the same image quality. Furthermore, two statistical variants of BP reconstruction were validated for our tomosynthesis prototype system. Experiments based on phantoms and computer simulations show that the prototype system combined with our algorithms is capable of providing three-dimensional information of the objects with good image quality and has great potentials to improve digital breast tomosynthesis technology. Four methodologies were employed to optimize the reconstruction algorithms and different imaging configurations for the prototype system. A linear tomosynthesis imaging analysis tool was used to investigate blurring-out reconstruction algorithms. Computer simulations of sphere and wire objects aimed at the performance of out-of-plane artifact removal. A frequency-domain-based methodology, relative NEQ(f) analysis, was investigated to evaluate the overall system performance based on the propagation of signal and noise. Conclusions were made to determine the optimal image reconstruction algorithm and imaging configuration of this new multi-beam parallel digital breast tomosynthesis prototype system for better image quality and system performance.
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