The paper presents an analysis of the results of ultrasound transmission tomography (UTT) imaging of the internal structure of a breast elastography phantom used for biopsy training, and compares them with the results of CT, MRI and, conventional US imaging; the results of the phantom examination were the basis for the analysis of UTT method resolution. The obtained UTT, CT and MRI images of the CIRS Model 059 breast phantom structure show comparable (in the context of size and location) heterogeneities inside it. The UTT image of distribution of the ultrasound velocity clearly demonstrates continuous changes of density. The UTT image of derivative of attenuation coefficient in relation to frequency is better for visualising sharp edges, and the UTT image of the distribution of attenuation coefficient visualises continuous and stepped changes in an indirect way. The inclusions visualized by CT have sharply delineated edges but are hardly distinguishable from the phantom gel background even with increased image contrast. MRI images of the studied phantom relatively clearly show inclusions in the structure. Ultrasonography images do not show any diversification of the structure of the phantom. The obtained examination results indicate that, if the scanning process is accelerated, ultrasound transmission tomography method can be successfully used to detect and diagnose early breast malignant lesions. Ultrasonic transmission tomography imaging can be applied in medicine for diagnostic examination of women’s breasts and similarly for X-ray computed tomography, while eliminating the need to expose patients to the harmful ionising radiation.
Ultrasonic projection imaging is similar to X-ray radiography. Nowadays, ultrasonic projection methods have been developed in the set-up of multi-element flat arrays with miniature transducers, where one of the array acts as a transmitter and the other one is a receiver. In the paper, a new method of the projection imaging using a 1024-element circular ultrasonic transducer array is presented. It allows the choice of a projection scanning plane for any angle around a studied object submerged in water. Fast acquisition of measurement data is achieved as a result of parallel switching of opposite transmitting and receiving transducers in the circular array and vertical movement of the array. The algorithm equalizing the length of measurement rays and the distances between them was elaborated for the reconstruction of projection images. Projection research results of breast phantom obtained by means of the elaborated measurement set-up and compared with mammography simulations (acquired through overlapping of X-ray tomographic images) show that ultrasonic projection method presented in this paper (so-called ultrasonic mammogra-phy) can be applied to the woman's breast and be used as a diagnosis for an early detection of cancerous lesions. It can, most of all, be used as an alternative or complementary method to standard mammography, which is harmful because of ionizing radiation and invasive due to the mechanical compression of tissue.