Room: AAPM ePoster Library
Purpose: Since SmartCurve compression paddles are widely available, it is important to evaluate image quality (IQ) quantitatively with both curved and flat compression paddles in 2D full-field digital mammography.
Methods: We compared IQ with 24 x 29 cm curved and flat paddles. To simulate breast tissue under the curved paddle, a 500 mL saline bag (upper phantom) was placed on top of 2 cm thick acrylic (lower phantom). For the flat paddle, two pieces of 2 cm thick acrylic were used. SNR and CNR were evaluated by placing 0.105 mm Al filters between the upper/lower phantoms. Leeds TOR 18FG phantom was similarly placed, and the bar pattern section used to calculate relative MTF curves for the curved vs. flat paddles.
Results: The SNR decreased by approximately 12% from the center of the field to off center ROI with our curved paddle. With the flat paddle, SNR differences are only approximately 2%. CNR increased by about 30% from the center for the curved paddle, while it increased by only 4% for the flat paddle. MTF curves along the chest wall side showed similar high contrast resolution between two paddles.
Conclusion: An FDA trial has concluded better patient comfort using curved paddles vs. flat paddles without loss in clinical image quality. However, there is significant SNR and CNR variation in our phantom studies when using the curved compression paddle without SmartCurve Stabilization System. This is expected due to the different tissue thicknesses and attenuation encountered by the x-ray beam under curved paddles. High contrast spatial resolution (MTF) was not clearly affected by the curved paddle and breast thickness differences for sufficient signal levels. The wider dynamic range of digital mammography may play an important role when using the curved paddle for 2D mammography.
Not Applicable / None Entered.