Effect of oblique X-ray incidence in flat-panel computed tomography of the breast

IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2009 May;28(5):696-702. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2008.2010443. Epub 2008 Dec 9.


We quantify the variation in resolution due to anisotropy caused by oblique X-ray incidence in indirect flat-panel detectors for computed tomography breast imaging systems. We consider a geometry and detector type utilized in breast computed tomography (CT) systems currently being developed. Our methods rely on mantis, a combined X-ray, electron, and optical Monte Carlo transport open source code. The physics models are the most accurate available in general-purpose Monte Carlo packages in the diagnostic energy range. We consider maximum-obliquity angles of 10 ( degrees ) and 13 ( degrees ) at the centers of the 30 and 40 cm detector edges, respectively, and 16 ( degrees ) at the corner of the detector. Our results indicate that blur is asymmetric and that the resolution properties vary significantly with the angle (or location) of incidence. Our results suggest that the asymmetry can be as high as a factor of 2.6 between orthogonal directions. Anisotropy maps predicted by mantis provide an understanding of the effect that such variations have on the imaging system and allow more accurate modeling and optimization of breast CT systems. These maps of anisotropy across the detector could lead to improved reconstruction and help motivate physics-based strategies for computer detection of breast lesions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anisotropy
  • Cesium
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Iodides
  • Mammography / methods*
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Normal Distribution
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Iodides
  • Cesium
  • cesium iodide