Dose reduction in molecular breast imaging with a new image-processing algorithm

Ashley T. Tao, Carrie B. Hruska, Amy L. Conners, Katie N. Hunt, Tiffinee N. Swanson, Thuy D. Tran, Armando Manduca, Lucas Borges, Andrew D.A. Maidment, David Lake, Matthew P. Johnson, Rickey E. Carter, Deborah J. Rhodes, Michael K. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to determine whether application of a proprietary image-processing algorithm would allow a reduction in the necessary administered activity for molecular breast imaging (MBI) examinations. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Images from standard-dose MBI examinations (300 MBq 99mTc-sestamibi) of 50 subjects were analyzed. The images were acquired in dynamic mode and showed at least one breast lesion. Half-dose MBI examinations were simulated by summing one-half of the dynamic frames and were processed with the algorithm under study in both a default and a preferred filter mode. Two breast radiologists independently completed a set of two-alternative forced-choice tasks to compare lesion conspicuity on standard-dose images, half-dose images, and the algorithm-processed half-dose images in both modes. RESULTS. Relative to the standard-dose images, the half-dose images were preferred in 4, the default-filtered half-dose images in 50, and preferred-filtered half-dose images in 76 of 100 readings. Compared with standard-dose images, in terms of lesion conspicuity, the half-dose images were rated better in 2, equivalent in 6, and poorer in 92 of 100 readings. The default-filtered half-dose images were rated better, equivalent, or poorer in 13, 73, and 14 of 100 readings. The preferred-filtered half-dose images were rated as better, equivalent, or poorer in 55, 34, and 11 of 100 readings. CONCLUSION. Compared with that on standard-dose images, lesion conspicuity on images obtained with the algorithm and acquired at one-half the standard dose was equivalent or better without compromise of image quality. The algorithm can also be used to decrease imaging time with a resulting increase in patient comfort and throughput.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-193
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Breast cancer
  • Cadmium zinc telluride
  • Dose reduction
  • Molecular breast imaging
  • Two-alternative forced choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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