12 March 2008 Image perception by expert readers as a function of patient skin entrance dose levels in digital radiography
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In this study, image quality was based on required clinical criteria, in order to investigate to what degree entrance dose could be lowered and what kind of added filtration can be used without impinging on radiologist confidence levels in diagnosing. Images were taken of extremities from a cadaver using stepwise decreasing dose levels and variation of added filtration (no filtration, aluminum, aluminum/copper) under digital projection radiography (Kodak DirectView DR7500). The starting point dose level for all body parts imaged was the current x-ray technique. Two experienced and two resident radiologists were presented the images in a blinded fashion and rated each with an image quality score from 1 to 9 indicated very satisfied and 1 as very unsatisfied indicating loss of diagnostic value. The readers were not aware of which dose level and added filtration corresponded to which image. Dose levels considered were 100%, 75%, 50% and 25% of the normal and customary x-ray techniques used for the particular body part and projection. Images were reviewed on a clinical diagnostic workstation with no time limits imposed. Readers were also able to change the image presentation by adjusting the window width and level. Without added filtration image quality mean score was rated with 6.3 (dose level 100%), 6.2 (dose level 75%), 5.3 (dose level 50%) and with 4.4 (dose level 25%). An added aluminum filtration induced an image quality mean score of 6.3 (dose level 100%), 6.0 (dose level 75%), 5.1 (dose level 50%) and of 4.2 (dose level 25%). Using aluminum/copper filtration image quality mean score was rated with 6.0 (dose level 100%), 6.1 (dose level 75%), 5.0 (dose level 50%) and with 3.8 (dose level 25%). Regardless of the added filtration a differentiation between dose levels 100% and 75% was possible in 38.9%, between dose levels 75% and 50% in 66.7%, and between dose levels 50% and 25% in 70.0% of the cases. It is possible, in the case of extremities, to lower entrance doses up to 75 % of the normal value, a reduction of 25% in dose, under simultaneous use of added aluminum or aluminum/copper filtration, without comprising the diagnostic value required.
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T. Lehnert, T. Lehnert, H. Korkusuz, H. Korkusuz, F. Khan, F. Khan, T. J. Vogl, T. J. Vogl, M. G. Mack, M. G. Mack, } "Image perception by expert readers as a function of patient skin entrance dose levels in digital radiography", Proc. SPIE 6917, Medical Imaging 2008: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 69170H (12 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.770428; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.770428

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