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6 May 2004 Threshold contrast visibility of microcalcifications in digital mammography
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The purpose of this study is to describe a method that allows the calculation of a contrast-detail curve for a particular system configuration using simulated micro calcifications into clinical mammograms. We made use of simulated templates of micro calcifications and adjusted their x-ray transmission coefficients and resolution to the properties of the mammographic system under consideration (4). We expressed the thickness of the simulated micro calcifications in terms of Al equivalence. In a first step we validated that the thickness of very small Al particles with well known size and thickness can be calculated from their x-ray transmission characteristics at a particular X-ray beam energy. Then, micro calcifications with equivalent diameters in the plane of the detector ranging from 300 to 800 μm and thicknesses, expressed in Al equivalent, covering 77 to 800 μm were simulated into the raw data of real clinical images. The procedure was tested on 2 system configurations: the GE Senographe 2000 D and the Se based Agfa Embrace DM1000 system. We adapted the X-ray transmissions and spatial characteristics of the simulated micro calcifications such that the same physical micro calcification could be simulated into images with the specific exposure parameters (Senographe 2000D: 28 kVp-Rh/Rh, Embrace DM1000: 28 kVp-Mo/Rh), compressed breast thickness (42+/-5mm) and detector under consideration. After processing and printing, 3 observers scored the visibility of the micro calcifications. We derived contrast-detail curves. This psychophysical method allows to summarize the performance of a digital mammography detector including processing and visualization.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ann-Katherine G. Carton, Hilde Bosmans, Dirk Vandenbroucke, Chantal Van Ongeval, Geert Souverijns, Frank Rogge, and Guy Marchal "Threshold contrast visibility of microcalcifications in digital mammography", Proc. SPIE 5368, Medical Imaging 2004: Physics of Medical Imaging, (6 May 2004);

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