Slinky artifact on digital breast tomosynthesis

Case contributed by Elmira Hassanzadeh


Annual screening

Patient Data

Age: 55 years
Gender: Female

A single close up section from a CC view 3D mammography (digital breast tomosynthesis) shows a train of low attenuation ripples underlying a skin marker.  This is known as a "slinky" artifact, a special type of Ripple-blurring seen in 3D mammography.

Case Discussion

Ripple-blurring artifacts in digital breast tomosynthesis are due to the inability to suppress (out-of-section) noise when the number of acquired projections is less than the intended reconstruction sections. This artifact can be seen when reconstructing a 3D volume containing a high-density object, such as a skin marker. Slinky artifact is a special type of ripple-blurring artifact and is seen in the reconstructed sections that are far from the dense object, as in this case. 

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