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Proceedings Paper

Correlation of radiologists’ image quality perception with quantitative assessment parameters: just-noticeable difference vs. peak signal-to-noise ratios
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Paper Abstract

The authors identify a fundamental disconnect between the ways in which industry and radiologists assess and even discuss product performance. What is needed is a quantitative methodology that can assess both subjective image quality and observer task performance. In this study, we propose and evaluate the use of a visual discrimination model (VDM) that assesses just-noticeable differences (JNDs) to serve this purpose. The study compares radiologists' subjective perceptions of image quality of computer tomography (CT) and computed radiography (CR) images with quantitative measures of peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) and JNDs as measured by a VDM. The study included 4 CT and 6 CR studies with compression ratios ranging from lossless to 90:1 (total of 80 sets of images were generated [n = 1,200]). Eleven radiologists reviewed the images and rated them in terms of overall quality and readability and identified images not acceptable for interpretation. Normalized reader scores were correlated with compression, objective PSNR, and mean JND values. Results indicated a significantly higher correlation between observer performance and JND values than with PSNR methods. These results support the use of the VDM as a metric not only for the threshold discriminations for which it was calibrated, but also as a general image quality metric. This VDM is a highly promising, reproducible, and reliable adjunct or even alternative to human observer studies for research or to establish clinical guidelines for image compression, dose reductions, and evaluation of various display technologies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2005
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5748, Medical Imaging 2005: PACS and Imaging Informatics, (15 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.596140
Show Author Affiliations
Khan M. Siddiqui M.D., VA Maryland Health Care System (United States)
Eliot L. Siegel M.D., VA Maryland Health Care System (United States)
Univ. of Maryland/Baltimore (United States)
Bruce I. Reiner M.D., VA Maryland Health Care System (United States)
Univ. of Maryland/Baltimore (United States)
Jeffrey P. Johnson, Siemens Corporate Research (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5748:
Medical Imaging 2005: PACS and Imaging Informatics
Osman M. Ratib; Steven C. Horii, Editor(s)

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