A comparison of mammographic systems for different breast thicknesses using model observer detectability

Nelis Van Peteghem, Elena Salvagnini, Hilde Bosmans, Lesley Cockmartin, Nicholas W. Marshall

Research outputpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This work investigated image quality as a function of PMMA thickness on a variety of mammography systems. Image quality was quantified by calculating detectability (d"™) using a non-prewhitening with eye filter model observer (NPWE) from routinely acquired quality control (QC) data of twelve digital radiography (DR) systems. The sample of systems included two mammography devices equipped with the Siemens PRIME upgrade and one system with the Claymount SmartBucky detector. The d"™ data were calculated for a 0.1 and 0.25 mm diameter gold discs using images of homogeneous PMMA (thickness from 2 to 7 cm), all from the routinely performed AEC test. The GE Essential systems had the highest d"™ values for low thicknesses and the lowest d"™ values for high thicknesses. The Hologic Selenia Dimension systems had the most constant detectability curve, ensuring high d"™ values at high thicknesses. This was achieved by increasing the mean glandular dose (MGD) at higher thicknesses compared to the other systems. The Siemens PRIME and the Claymount system detectability results were comparable to the standard FFDM systems. Mean glandular dose at 5, 6 and 7 cm PMMA and gold threshold thickness at 5 cm PMMA were also evaluated. The Claymount system had a high (but acceptable) threshold gold thickness (T) compared to the other systems. This was probably caused by the low dose at which this DR detector operates. Results of NPWE d"™ and CDMAM analysis showed the same trends.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2015
Subtitle of host publicationPhysics of Medical Imaging
EditorsChristoph Hoeschen, Despina Kontos, Christoph Hoeschen
PublisherSPIE - Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781628415025
StatePublished - 2015
EventMedical Imaging 2015: Physics of Medical Imaging - Orlando
Duration: 22 Feb 201525 Feb 2015

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2015: Physics of Medical Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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