Purpose: To determine the x-ray photon energy dependence of the anatomic power spectrum of the breast when imaged with dedicated breast computed tomography (CT). Methods: A theoretical framework for scaling the empirically determined anatomic power spectrum at one x-ray photon energy to that at any given x-ray photon energy when imaged with dedicated breast CT was developed. Theory predicted that when the anatomic power spectrum is fitted with a power curve of the form k f-β, where k and β are fit coefficients and f is spatial frequency, the exponent β would be independent of x-ray photon energy (E), and the amplitude k scales with the square of the difference in energy-dependent linear attenuation coefficients of fibroglandular and adipose tissues. Twenty mastectomy specimens based numerical phantoms that were previously imaged with a benchtop flat-panel cone-beam CT system were converted to 3D distribution of glandular weight fraction (fg) and were used to verify the theoretical findings. The 3D power spectrum was computed in terms of fg and after converting to linear attenuation coefficients at monoenergetic x-ray photon energies of 20-80 keV in 5 keV intervals. The 1D power spectra along the axes were extracted and fitted with a power curve of the form k f-β. The energy dependence of k and β were analyzed. Results: For the 20 mastectomy specimen based numerical phantoms used in the study, the exponent β was found to be in the range of 2.34-2.42, depending on the axis of measurement. Numerical simulations agreed with the theoretical predictions that for a power-law anatomic spectrum of the form k f-β, β was independent of E and k(E) = k 1[μg(E) - μa(E)]2, where k1 is a constant, and μg(E) and μa(E) represent the energy-dependent linear attenuation coefficients of fibroglandular and adipose tissues, respectively. Conclusions: Numerical simulations confirmed the theoretical predictions that in dedicated breast CT, the spatial frequency dependence of the anatomic power spectrum will be independent of x-ray photon energy, and the amplitude of the anatomic power spectrum scales by the square of difference in linear attenuation coefficients of fibroglandular and adipose tissues.
- anatomic noise
- breast computed tomography
- cascaded linear systems
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging