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      X-ray phase-contrast tomosynthesis of a human ex vivo breast slice with an inverse Compton x-ray source

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          Phase retrieval and differential phase-contrast imaging with low-brilliance X-ray sources

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            Hard x-ray phase tomography with low-brilliance sources.

            We report on a method for tomographic phase contrast imaging of centimeter sized objects. As opposed to existing techniques, our approach can be used with low-brilliance, lab based x-ray sources and thus is of interest for a wide range of applications in medicine, biology, and nondestructive testing. The work is based on the recent development of a hard x-ray grating interferometer, which has been demonstrated to yield differential phase contrast projection images. Here we particularly focus on how this method can be used for tomographic reconstructions using filtered back projection algorithms to yield quantitative volumetric information of both the real and imaginary part of the samples's refractive index.
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              The first analysis and clinical evaluation of native breast tissue using differential phase-contrast mammography.

              Phase-contrast and scattering-based x-ray imaging are known to provide additional and complementary information to conventional, absorption-based methods, and therefore have the potential to play a crucial role in medical diagnostics. We report on the first mammographic investigation of 5 native, that is, freshly dissected, breasts carried out with a grating interferometer and a conventional x-ray tube source. Four patients in this study had histopathologically proven invasive breast cancer. One male patient, without the presence of any malignant formations within the resected breast, was included as a control specimen. We used a Talbot-Lau grating setup installed on a conventional, low-brilliance x-ray source; the interferometer operated at the fifth Talbot distance, at a tube voltage of 40 kVp with mean energy of 28 keV, and at a current of 25 mA. The device simultaneously recorded absorption, differential phase and small-angle scattering signals from the native breast tissue. These quantities were then combined into novel color- and high-frequency-enhanced radiographic images. Presurgical images (conventional mammography, ultrasonography, and magnetic resonance imaging) supported the findings and clinical relevance was verified. Our approach yields complementary and otherwise inaccessible information on the electron density distribution and the small-angle scattering power of the sample at the microscopic scale. This information can be used to potentially answer clinically relevant, yet unresolved questions such as unequivocally discerning between malignant and premalignant changes and postoperative scars and distinguishing cancer-invaded regions within healthy tissue. We present the first ex vivo images of fresh, native breast tissue obtained from mastectomy specimens using grating interferometry. This technique yields improved diagnostic capabilities when compared with conventional mammography, especially when discerning the type of malignant conversions and their breadth within normal breast tissue. These promising results advance us toward the ultimate goal, using grating interferometry in vivo on humans in a clinical setting.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                EPL (Europhysics Letters)
                EPL
                IOP Publishing
                0295-5075
                1286-4854
                December 01 2016
                December 01 2016
                February 13 2017
                : 116
                : 6
                : 68003
                Article
                10.1209/0295-5075/116/68003
                © 2017

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