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4 May 2004 Comparison of two methods for evaluation of image quality of lumbar spine radiographs
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To evaluate the image quality of clinical radiographs with two different methods, and to find correlations between the two methods. Based on fifteen lumbar spine radiographs, two new sets of images were created. A hybrid image set was created by adding two distributions of artificial lesions to each original image. The image quality parameters spatial resolution and noise were manipulated and a total of 210 hybrid images were created. A set of 105 disease-free images was created by applying the same combinations of spatial resolution and noise to the original images. The hybrid images were evaluated with the free-response forced error experiment (FFE) and the normal images with visual grading analysis (VGA) by nine experienced radiologists. The VGA study showed that images with low noise are preferred over images with higher noise levels. The alteration of the MTF had a limited influence on the VGA score. For the FFE study the visibility of the lesions was independent of the spatial resolution and the noise level. In this study we found no correlation between the two methods, probably because the detectability of the artificial lesions was not influenced by the manipulations of noise level and resolution. Hence, the detection of lesions in lumbar spine radiography may not be a quantum-noise limited task. The results show the strength of the VGA technique in terms of detecting small changes in the two image quality parameters. The method is more robust and has a higher statistical power than the ROC related method and could therefore, in some cases, be more suitable for use in optimization studies.
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Anders Tingberg, Magnus Bath, Markus Hakansson, Joakim Medin, Michael Sandborg, Gudrun Alm-Carlsson, Sören Mattsson, and Lars Gunnar Mansson "Comparison of two methods for evaluation of image quality of lumbar spine radiographs", Proc. SPIE 5372, Medical Imaging 2004: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, (4 May 2004);

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