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Diffraction enhanced breast imaging: preliminary results from the Elettra synchrotron source

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5 Author(s)
G. J. Royle ; Dept. of Med. Phys., Univ. Coll. London, UK ; E. J. Harris ; R. D. Spellep ; J. A. Griffiths
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Biological tissues cause X-ray diffraction effects indicative of the tissue being Irradiated. These effects can be used as the physical mechanism to obtain images of the tissues. In our work at UCL we have demonstrated that there is a detectable difference in the shape of the X-ray diffraction profile from healthy and diseased breast tissue. We are currently working towards translating this concept into a feasible clinical imaging system, which will take transmission images and diffraction enhanced images of the breast simultaneously.. A prototype diffraction enhanced imaging system has been developed and undergone preliminary testing at the Elettra synchrotron radiation source at Trieste, Italy. The imaging system is based upon new low light level CCD (L3 Vision) technology, which exhibits low noise characteristics and a greatly improved sensitivity The camera consists of a suitably collimated, cooled L3Vision sensor coated with a Gd2O2S:Eu phosphor screen. Results demonstrated that the camera could detect single X-ray photons. A 4 cm thick phantom, consisting of excised normal and cancerous human breast tissue, was imaged at the Elettra SYRMEP beamline by diffraction and transmission techniques. Diffraction images were obtained at the momentum transfer value optimal for tissue discrimination. Additional momentum transfer values were also investigated. Results demonstrated a significant increase in image contrast in the diffraction images compared to the transmission images. It is also suggested that the use of additional momentum transfer values could further increase contrast and improve discrimination among tissue types.

Published in:

Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record, 2002 IEEE  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

10-16 Nov. 2002