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Proceedings Paper

Optimum ambient lighting conditions for the viewing of softcopy radiological images
Author(s): Mark McEntee; Patrick Brennan; Micheal Evanoff; Peter Phillps; William T. O Connor; David Manning
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Paper Abstract

Purpose The aim of the work is to determine the optimum ambient lighting conditions for viewing softcopy radiological images on LCD. Materials and Methods The study measured the diagnostic performance of observers viewing images on liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor under different ambient lighting conditions: 480, 100, 40, 25 and 7lux. An ROC analysis was performed as a measure of diagnostic performance. A set of 30 postero-anterior wrist images was used, 15 of which had fractures present the remainder were normal. These were evaluated by 79 American Board of Radiology certified experienced Radiologists. Results The observers performed better at 40 and 25lux compared with 480 and 100 lux. At 7lux, the observers' performance was generally similar to that at 480 and 100lux. Conclusion Using the previously recommended ambient lighting levels of 100lux resulted in no improvement over typical office lighting of 480lux. Lower ambient lighting levels ranging from 40-25lux improves diagnostic performance over higher levels. Lowering ambient lighting to 7lux (almost complete darkness apart from the light emanating from the monitor) reduces diagnostic performance to a level equal to that of typical office lighting. It is clearly important to control ambient lighting to ensure that diagnostic performance is maximized.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 March 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6146, Medical Imaging 2006: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 61460W (17 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.660137
Show Author Affiliations
Mark McEntee, Univ. College Dublin (Ireland)
Patrick Brennan, Univ. College Dublin (Ireland)
Micheal Evanoff, American Board of Radiologists (United States)
Peter Phillps, St. Martin's College (United Kingdom)
William T. O Connor, Univ. College Dublin (Ireland)
David Manning, St. Martin's College (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6146:
Medical Imaging 2006: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
Yulei Jiang; Miguel P. Eckstein, Editor(s)

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