Effective x-ray attenuation measurements with full field digital mammography

Medical Physics
John Heine, Madhusmita Behera

Abstract

This work shows that effective x-ray attenuation coefficients may be estimated by applying Beer's Law to phantom image data acquired with the General Electric Senographe 2000D full field digital mammography system. Theoretical developments are provided indicating that an approximate form of the Beer's relation holds for polychromatic x-ray beams. The theoretical values were compared with experimentally determined measured values, which were estimated at various detector locations. The measured effective attenuation coefficients are in agreement with those estimated with theoretical developments and numerical integration. The work shows that the measured quantities show little spatial variation. The main ideas are demonstrated with polymethylmethacrylate and breast tissue equivalent phantom imaging experiments. The work suggests that the effective attenuation coefficients may be used as known values for radiometric standardization applications that compensate for the image acquisition influences. The work indicates that it is possible to make quantitative attenuation coefficient measurements from a system designed for clinical purposes.

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