Images were acquired on a Hologic Selenia Dimensions system with a uniform and anthropomorphic phantom. A contrast detail insert of small, low-contrast disks was created using an inkjet printer with iodine-doped ink and inserted in the phantoms. The disks varied in diameter from 210 to 630 μm, and in contrast from 1.1% contrast to 2.2% in regular increments. Human and model observers performed a 4-alternative forced choice experiment. The models were a non-prewhitening matched filter with eye model (NPWE) and a channelized Hotelling observer with either Gabor channels (Gabor-CHO) or Laguerre-Gauss channels (LG-CHO).
With the given phantoms, reader scores were higher in FFDM and DBT than SM. The structure in the phantom background had a bigger impact on outcome for DBT than for FFDM or SM. All three model observers showed good correlation with humans in the uniform background, with ρ between 0.89 and 0.93. However, in the structured background, only the CHOs had high correlation, with ρ=0.92 for Gabor-CHO, 0.90 for LG-CHO, and 0.77 for NPWE.
Because results of any analysis can depend on the phantom structure, conclusions of modality performance may need to be taken in the context of an appropriate model observer and a realistic phantom.