A Realistic Breast Phantom Proposal for 3D Image Reconstruction in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis

Creative Commons License

POLAT A., Kumrular R. K.

Technology in Cancer Research and Treatment, vol.21, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/15330338221104567
  • Journal Name: Technology in Cancer Research and Treatment
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: breast cancer, breast imaging, breast phantom, DBT, digital breast tomosynthesis, FBP, SART
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives: Iterative (eg, simultaneous algebraic reconstruction technique [SART]) and analytical (eg, filtered back projection [FBP]) image reconstruction techniques have been suggested to provide adequate three-dimensional (3D) images of the breast for capturing microcalcifications in digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). To decide on the reconstruction method in clinical DBT, it must first be tested in a simulation resembling the real clinical environment. The purpose of this study is to introduce a 3D realistic breast phantom for determining the reconstruction method in clinical applications. Methods: We designed a 3D realistic breast phantom with varying dimensions (643-5123) mimicking some structures of a real breast such as milk ducts, lobules, and ribs using TomoPhantom software. We generated microcalcifications, which mimic cancerous cells, with a separate MATLAB code and embedded them into the phantom for testing and benchmark studies in DBT. To validate the characterization of the phantom, we tested the distinguishability of microcalcifications by performing 3D image reconstruction methods (SART and FBP) using Laboratory of Computer Vision (LAVI) open-source reconstruction toolbox. Results: The creation times of the proposed realistic breast phantom were seconds of 2.5916, 8.4626, 57.6858, and 472.1734 for 643, 1283, 2563, and 5123, respectively. We presented reconstructed images and quantitative results of the phantom for SART (1-2-4-8 iterations) and FBP, with 11 to 23 projections. We determined qualitatively and quantitatively that SART (2-4 iter.) yields better results than FBP. For example, for 23 projections, the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) values of SART (2 iter.) and FBP were 2.871 and 0.497, respectively. Conclusions: We created a computationally efficient realistic breast phantom that is eligible for reconstruction and includes anatomical structures and microcalcifications, successfully. By proposing this breast phantom, we provided the opportunity to test which reconstruction methods can be used in clinical applications vary according to various parameters such as the No. of iterations and projections in DBT.