Objective: The purpose of this study was to improve detectability of microcalcifications using a dual-energy digital mammographic (DEDM) technique.
Methods: Slabs of uniform breast-equivalent plastic and an additional plate were used to mimic various breast thicknesses, from 3 to 7 cm, and to simulate microcalcification with diameters from 0.16 to 0.39 mm. Free-response receiver operating characteristics and area under the curves (Az) were used to evaluate the sensitivity of detecting microcalcifications using the DEDM compared with using the conventional single-energy digital mammography (SEDM).
Results: The mean number of false-positives per image was 0.0198 (Az = 0.956 ± 0.027) using DEDM compared with 0.292 (Az = 0.681 ± 0.235) using SEDM. A lower radiation dose could be possibly obtained for the DEDM technique with a thickness of less than 5 cm compared with the SEDM with a thickness larger than 5 cm.
Conclusions: Microcalcifications could be more accurately and efficiently detected using the DEDM, which might bring reliable and promising applications on early computer-aided diagnosis of breast cancer.
From the *Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, National Yang Ming University; Departments of †Radiology and ‡Surgery, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei; §Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Science, China Medical University, Taichung; and ∥Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
Received for publication February 3, 2012; accepted April 4, 2012.
Reprints: Ran-Chou Chen, MD, or Jason J.S. Lee, PhD, Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, National Yang Ming University, Department of Radiology, Taipei City Hospital, 155 Li-Nong St, Sec. 2, Taipei, Taiwan 112 (e-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org).
This study was financially supported by the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC99-2314-B-010-030-MY2).