System geometry optimization for molecular breast tomosynthesis with focusing multi-pinhole collimators

Jarno van Roosmalen, Freek Beekman, Marlies Goorden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Imaging of 99mTc-labelled tracers is gaining popularity for detecting breast tumours. Recently, we proposed a novel design for molecular breast tomosynthesis (MBT) based on two sliding focusing multi-pinhole collimators that scan a modestly compressed breast. Simulation studies indicate that MBT has the potential to improve the tumour-to-background contrast-to-noise ratio significantly over state-of-the-art planar molecular breast imaging. The aim of the present paper is to optimize the collimator-detector geometry of MBT. Using analytical models, we first optimized sensitivity at different fixed system resolutions (ranging from 5 to 12 mm) by tuning the pinhole diameters and the distance between breast and detector for a whole series of automatically generated multi-pinhole designs. We evaluated both MBT with a conventional continuous crystal detector with 3.2 mm intrinsic resolution and with a pixelated detector with 1.6 mm pixels. Subsequently, full system simulations of a breast phantom containing several lesions were performed for the optimized geometry at each system resolution for both types of detector. From these simulations, we found that tumour-to-background contrast-to-noise ratio was highest for systems in the 7 mm–10 mm system resolution range over which it hardly varied. No significant differences between the two detector types were found.
Original languageEnglish
Article number015018
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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