Dr. Angelo Taibi
PhD Univesity of Ferrara - Italy
I'm a medical physicist at the University of Ferrara with about 20 years of experience in the physics of breast x-ray imaging. Some years ago I started a fruitful co-operation with the IMS company first for the optimization of the imaging chain in digital mammography and then I was involved in this exciting project called Digital Breast Tomosynthesis.
Now I'm very happy to see that such system is a real thing thanks to the efforts of the whole IMS staff and to the co-operation with the local universities of Bologna and Ferrara.
Talking about the technology, DBT has been immediately recognized as an advanced application of digital mammography with high potential for breast cancer screening and several manufacturers started their investigations to produce a commercial system. However, there are at the moment only two other systems available in the market together with the IMS one.
As stated by a review paper just published on a Medical Physics journal, we've been quite successful in optimizing the DBT system. Indeed, the compromise chosen by IMS in terms of angular range and no. of projections is close to optimal and allows one to achieve the best imagequality (I mean, contrast resolution) and minimum dose.
Going to the third physical parameter, namely the spatial resolution, IMS has chosen the step'n'shoot movement of the x-ray tube which is mechanically challenging but certainly guarantees the acquisition of the sharpest x-ray projections.
Finally, this paper also discusses the unique feature of the IMS system that can use variable dose distribution during the Tomo scan to simultaneously provide 2D and 3D images of the breast.