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Monte Carlo Simulation of X-Ray Spectra in Mammography and Contrast-Enhanced Digital Mammography Using the Code PENELOPE

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3 Author(s)
Cunha, D.M. ; Inst. de Fis., Univ. Fed. de Uberlandia, Uberlandia, Brazil ; Tomal, A. ; Poletti, M.E.

In this work, the Monte Carlo (MC) code PENELOPE was employed for simulation of x-ray spectra in mammography and contrast-enhanced digital mammography (CEDM). Spectra for Mo, Rh and W anodes were obtained for tube potentials between 24-36 kV, for mammography, and between 45-49 kV, for CEDM. The spectra obtained from the simulations were analytically filtered to correspond to the anode/filter combinations usually employed in each technique (Mo/Mo, Rh/Rh and W/Rh for mammography and Mo/Cu, Rh/Cu and W/Cu for CEDM). For the Mo/Mo combination, the simulated spectra were compared with those obtained experimentally, and for spectra for the W anode, with experimental data from the literature, through comparison of distribution shape, average energies, half-value layers (HVL) and transmission curves. For all combinations evaluated, the simulated spectra were also compared with those provided by different models from the literature. Results showed that the code PENELOPE provides mammographic x-ray spectra in good agreement with those experimentally measured and those from the literature. The differences in the values of HVL ranged between 2-7%, for anode/filter combinations and tube potentials employed in mammography, and they were less than 5% for those employed in CEDM. The transmission curves for the spectra obtained also showed good agreement compared to those computed from reference spectra, with average relative differences less than 12% for mammography and CEDM. These results show that the code PENELOPE can be a useful tool to generate x-ray spectra for studies in mammography and CEDM, and also for evaluation of new x-ray tube designs and new anode materials.

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 2 )