Recent Patents on Medical Imaging

Charles Bellows  
Chief Division of General Surgery
University of New Mexico
New Mexico


Application of Synchrotron Radiation in Mammography

Author(s): Kristina Bliznakova.


Recent and emerging applications of synchrotron radiation for mammography have been reviewed and their suitability and future perspectives in diagnostic mammography have been highlighted. Scientific literature and patents review have been accomplished for the last fifteen years in the field of mammography with synchrotron radiation. Phase contrast mammography, k-edge mammography, three-dimensional (3D) mammography, like breast computed tomography and tomosynthesis are amongst the most anticipating applications of synchrotron radiation for mammography. The currently running synchrotron radiation clinical program in mammography, at the SYRMEP beamline at ELETTRA (Trieste) demonstrates mammograms with a high spatial resolution and enhanced features contrast at mean glandular dose, comparable with the one in conventional mammography, revealing the potential of this technique in early detection of breast cancer. Mammograms obtained with diffraction enhanced imaging are characterised with high spatial resolution and excellent visibility of thin collagen strands. Thus, this imaging technique may be used for morphological studies of breast tissues. Efforts are also directed towards realisation of 3D techniques with synchrotron beams. Initial results with breast tissue samples demonstrate potential of tissue differentiation, breast structure separation in depth and clear cancer architecture. The development of new high resolution, low dose and multi-slice detectors, image acquisition protocols and image reconstruction techniques are some of the goals to be achieved towards the implementation of high resolution fullthickness 3D breast imaging. The implementation of the discussed mammographic applications with synchrotron radiation in routine clinical practice, however, faces practical problems such as the large size and very high cost of the synchrotron facilities. It is expected the exploitation of novel more economic synchrotron compact radiation sources to reduce this cost and result in more intensive use of the mammography modalities with synchrotron radiation, specifically in clarifying the ambiguity of the traditional x-ray mammography examinations.

Keywords: Breast computed tomography, breast tomosynthesis, compact light sources, computed tomography of diffraction enhanced imaging, detectors for synchrotron radiation, diffraction enhanced imaging, inline phase contrast, k-edge subtraction imaging, morphological studies, phase contrast mammography, reconstruction techniques, synchrotron radiation, x-ray mammography.

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Article Details

Year: 2012
Page: [94 - 110]
Pages: 17
DOI: 10.2174/1877613211202020094
Price: $100