Can electronic zoom replace magnification in mammography? A comparative Monte Carlo study

M. Koutalonis*, H. Delis, A. Pascoal, G. Spyrou, L. Costaridou, G. Panayiotakis

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Magnification, which is considered to be a relatively high "dose cost" mammographic technique, is a complementary examination performed on women exhibiting breast complaints or abnormalities. Particular attention is given to the imaging procedure as the primary aim is to confirm the existence of suspected abnormalities, despite the additional dose. The introduction of post-processing capabilities and the widespread use of digital mammography promoted some controversy in the last decades on whether electronic zoom performed on the derived initial screening mammogram can effectively replace this technique. This study used Monte Carlo simulation methods to derive simulated screening mammograms produced under several exposure conditions, aiming to electronically magnify and compare them to the corresponding magnification mammograms. Comparison was based on quantitative measurements of image quality, namely contrast to noise ratio (CNR) and spatial resolution. Results demonstrated that CNR was higher for geometric magnification compared to the case of electronic zooming. The percentage difference was higher for lesions of smaller radius and achieved 29% for 0.10 mm details. Although spatial resolution is maintained high in the zoomed images, when investigating microcalcifications of 0.05 mm radius or less, only with geometric magnification can they be visualised.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)569-577
    Number of pages9
    JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
    Issue number991
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


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