Performance evaluation of a 3D structured phantom with simulated lesions on breast imaging systems

Liesbeth Vancoillie, Lesley Cockmartin, Kristina Tri Wigati, Dimitar Petrov, Guozhi Zhang, Nicholas Marshall, Hilde Bosmans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is comparing the detection performance in 2D full field digital mammography (FFDM) and digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) using a structured phantom with inserted target objects. The phantom consists of a semi-cylindrical PMMA container, filled with water and PMMA spheres of different diameters. Microcalcifications and 3D printed masses (spiculated and non-spiculated) were inserted. The phantom was imaged ten times in both modes of five systems, using automatic exposure control (AEC) and at half and double the AEC dose. Five readers evaluated target detectability in a four-alternative forced-choice study. The percentage of correct responses (PC) was assessed based on 10 trials of each reader for each object type, size, imaging modality and dose level. Additionally, detection threshold diameters at 62.5 PC were assessed via non-linear regression fitting of the psychometric curve. Evaluation of target detection in FFDM showed that spiculated masses were better detected compared to non-spiculated masses. In DBT, detection of both mass types increased significantly (p=0.0001) compared to FFDM. Microcalcification detection thresholds ranged between 110 and 118 μm and were similar for the five systems in FFDM while larger variations (106-158 μm) were found in DBT. Mass detection was independent of dose in FFDM while weak dependence was seen for DBT. Microcalcification detection increased with increasing dose for both modalities. The phantom was able to show detectability differences between FFDM and DBT mode for five commercial systems in line with the findings from clinical trials. We suggest to use the phantom for task-based assessment methods for acceptance and commissioning testing of DBT systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication14th International Workshop on Breast Imaging (IWBI 2018)
EditorsElizabeth A. Krupinski
ISBN (Electronic)9781510620070
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event14th International Workshop on Breast Imaging (IWBI 2018) - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 8 Jul 201811 Jul 2018

Publication series

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


Conference14th International Workshop on Breast Imaging (IWBI 2018)
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • detection performance
  • digital breast tomosynthesis
  • digital mammography
  • four alternative forced choice study
  • structured phantom


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