John Boone, Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, UC Davis

A paper published by UC Davis Biomedical Engineering and Radiology professor John Boone, his BME Ph.D. students Lin Chen and Anita Nosratieh, and colleagues Craig Abbey (UCSB) and Karen Lindfors (UCDMC) has received the Sylvia Sorkin Greenfield Award. The award honors the best paper published that year in the journal, Medical Physics, and includes a cash prize. The award will be presented by the President of the AAPM (American Association of Physicists in Medicine), the organization that produces Medical Physics, during an award ceremony in Indianapolis on August 5, 2013.

The paper, Anatomical complexity in breast parenchyma and its implications for optimal breast imaging strategies, showed that breast CT imaging yields a smaller amount of distortion due to normal tissue than mammography or tomosynthesis. Normal breast tissue, such as glands, can get in the way of detecting cancerous lesions. High levels of this anatomical noise make any imaging method less reliable at revealing cancerous tissue. Dr. Boone’s lab used all three imaging modalities on 23 volunteers who had been referred to the UC Davis Medical Center for imaging because of suspicious findings on routine breast exams.

They found that anatomical noise in breast imaging is only reduced when the thickness of the individual cross-sectional planes (known as “slices”) that are reconstructed to produce a whole image are less than 7mm thick. Significant reduction in noise only occurs when slice thickness is less than 1mm. Because of its intrinsically thin slices, breast CT had the least anatomical noise. The authors conclude that breast CT might be a better way to detect mass lesions than mammography or tomosynthesis.