Phase contrast images were obtained experimentally by using a customized mammography unit with a nominal focal spot size of 100 microm and variable source-to-image distances of up to 1.5 m. The purpose of this study was to examine the applicability and potential usefulness of phase contrast imaging for mammography. A mammography phantom (ACR156 RMI phantom) was imaged, and its visibility was examined. The optical density of the phantom images was adjusted to approximately 1.3 for both the contact and phase contrast images. Forty-one observers (18 medical doctors and 23 radiological technologists) participated in visual evaluation of the images. Results showed that, in comparison with the images of contact mammography, the phantom images of phase contrast imaging demonstrated statistically significantly superior visibility for fibers, clustered micro-calcifications, and masses. Therefore, phase contrast imaging obtained by using the customized mammography unit would be useful for improving diagnostic accuracy in mammography.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes