Demonstration of correlations between clinical and physical image quality measures in chest and lumbar spine screen-film radiography
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The ability to predict clinical image quality from physical measures is useful for optimization in diagnostic radiology. In this work, clinical and physical assessments of image quality are compared and correlations between the two are derived. Clinical assessment has been made by a group of expert radiologists who evaluated fulfilment of the European image criteria for chest and lumbar spine radiography using two scoring methods: image criteria score (ICS) and visual grading analysis score (VGAS). Physical image quality measures were calculated using a Monte Carlo simulation model of the complete imaging system. This model includes a voxelized male anatomy and was used to calculate contrast and signal-to-noise ratio of various Important anatomical details and measures of dynamic range. Correlations between the physical image quality measures on the one hand and the ICS and VGAS on the other were sought. 16 chest and 4 lumbar spine imaging system configurations were compared in frontal projection. A statistically significant correlation with clinical image quality was found in chest posteroanterior radiography for the contrast of blood vessels in the retrocardiac area and a measure of useful dynamic range. In lumbar spine anteroposterior radiography, a similar significant correlation with clinical image quality was found between the contrast and signal-to-noise ratio of the trabecular structures in the L1-L5 vertebrae. The significant correlation shows that clinical image duality can, at least in some cases, be predicted from appropriate measures of physical image quality.
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BRITISH JOURNAL OF RADIOLOGY, 2001, 74 pp. 520 - 528
BRITISH INST RADIOLOGY