Algorithmic scatter correction in dual-energy digital mammography

Xi Chen, Robert M. Nishikawa, Suk Tak Chan, Beverly A. Lau, Lei Zhang, Xuanqin Mou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Small calcifications are often the earliest and the main indicator of breast cancer. Dual-energy digital mammography (DEDM) has been considered as a promising technique to improve the detectability of calcifications since it can be used to suppress the contrast between adipose and glandular tissues of the breast. X-ray scatter leads to erroneous calculations of the DEDM image. Although the pinhole-array interpolation method can estimate scattered radiations, it requires extra exposures to measure the scatter and apply the correction. The purpose of this work is to design an algorithmic method for scatter correction in DEDM without extra exposures. Methods: In this paper, a scatter correction method for DEDM was developed based on the knowledge that scattered radiation has small spatial variation and that the majority of pixels in a mammogram are noncalcification pixels. The scatter fraction was estimated in the DEDM calculation and the measured scatter fraction was used to remove scatter from the image. The scatter correction method was implemented on a commercial full-field digital mammography system with breast tissue equivalent phantom and calcification phantom. The authors also implemented the pinhole-array interpolation scatter correction method on the system. Phantom results for both methods are presented and discussed. The authors compared the background DE calcification signals and the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of calcifications in the three DE calcification images: image without scatter correction, image with scatter correction using pinhole-array interpolation method, and image with scatter correction using the authors' algorithmic method. Results: The authors' results show that the resultant background DE calcification signal can be reduced. The root-mean-square of background DE calcification signal of 1962 μm with scatter-uncorrected data was reduced to 194 μm after scatter correction using the authors' algorithmic method. The range of background DE calcification signals using scatter-unc
Original languageEnglish
Article number111919
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • calcification
  • dual energy
  • mammography
  • scatter correction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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