A database of raw composite mammograms containing simulated microcalcifications was generated. Databases can be used for technology assessment, quality assurance and comparison of different processing algorithms or different visualization modalities in digital mammography. Clinical mammograms were selected and fully documented for this scope. Microcalcifications were simulated in mammography images following a methodology developed and validated in an earlier work of our group. To create microcalcification templates, specimen containing lesions with different morphology types were acquired. From a basic set of (ideal) microcalcification templates, a set of specific templates for the systems under study was generated. The necessary input to do so is the system MTF and attenuation values of aluminum sheets with different thickness. In order to make the whole process less time consuming and applicable on a large scale, dedicated software tools for the creation of composite images have been developed. Automatic analysis of scores from observer performance study, in terms of microcalcification detectability on the composite images, is also implemented. We report on the functionalities foreseen in these new software tools. Simulated microcalcifications were successfully created and inserted in raw images of the Siemens Novation DR, the AGFA DM1000 and the AGFA CR MM2.0.
MoniQA ("Monitor Quality Assurance") is a new, non-commercial, independent quality assurance software application
developed in our medical physics team. It is a complete JavaTM - based modular environment for the evaluation of
radiological viewing devices and it thus fits in the global quality assurance network of our (film less) radiology
department. The purpose of the software tool is to guide the medical physicist through an acceptance protocol and the
radiologist through a constancy check protocol by presentation of the necessary test patterns and by automated data
collection. Data are then sent to a central management system for further analysis. At the moment more than 55 patterns
have been implemented, which can be grouped in schemes to implement protocols (i.e. AAPMtg18, DIN and EUREF).
Some test patterns are dynamically created and 'drawn' on the viewing device with random parameters as is the case in
a recently proposed new pattern for constancy testing. The software is installed on 35 diagnostic stations (70 monitors)
in a film less radiology department. Learning time was very limited. A constancy check -with the new pattern that
assesses luminance decrease, resolution problems and geometric distortion- takes only 2 minutes and 28 seconds per
monitor. The modular approach of the software allows the evaluation of new or emerging test patterns. We will report
on the software and its usability: practicality of the constancy check tests in our hospital and on the results from
acceptance tests of viewing stations for digital mammography.