Cone-beam micro computed tomography dedicated to the breast

Antonio Sarno, Giovanni Mettivier, Francesca Di Lillo, Mario Cesarelli, Paolo Bifulco, Paolo Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We developed a scanner for micro computed tomography dedicated to the breast (BμCT) with a high resolution flat-panel detector and a microfocus X-ray tube. We evaluated the system spatial resolution via the 3D modulation transfer function (MTF). In addition to conventional absorption-based X-ray imaging, such a prototype showed capabilities for propagation-based phase-contrast and related edge enhancement effects in 3D imaging. The system limiting spatial resolution is 6.2mm-1 (MTF at 10%) in the vertical direction and 3.8mm-1 in the radial direction, values which compare favorably with the spatial resolution reached by mini focus breast CT scanners of other groups. The BμCT scanner was able to detect both microcalcification clusters and masses in an anthropomorphic breast phantom at a dose comparable to that of two-view mammography. The use of a breast holder is proposed in order to have 1-2min long scan times without breast motion artifacts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 10 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Diagnosis
  • Micro computed tomography
  • MTF
  • Phase contrast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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