An investigation of automatic exposure control calibration for chest imaging with a computed radiography system

MOORE, C S, WOOD, T J, AVERY, G, BALCAM, S, NEEDLER, L, BEAVIS, A. W. and SAUNDERSON, J R (2014). An investigation of automatic exposure control calibration for chest imaging with a computed radiography system. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 59 (9), 2307-2324.

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Link to published version:: 10.1088/0031-9155/59/9/2307


The purpose of this study was to examine the use of three physical image quality metrics in the calibration of an automatic exposure control (AEC) device for chest radiography with a computed radiography (CR) imaging system. The metrics assessed were signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and mean effective noise equivalent quanta (eNEQm), all measured using a uniform chest phantom. Subsequent calibration curves were derived to ensure each metric was held constant across the tube voltage range. Each curve was assessed for its clinical appropriateness by generating computer simulated chest images with correct detector air kermas for each tube voltage, and grading these against reference images which were reconstructed at detector air kermas correct for the constant detector dose indicator (DDI) curve currently programmed into the AEC device. All simulated chest images contained clinically realistic projected anatomy and anatomical noise and were scored by experienced image evaluators. Constant DDI and CNR curves do not appear to provide optimized performance across the diagnostic energy range. Conversely, constant eNEQm and SNR do appear to provide optimized performance, with the latter being the preferred calibration metric given as it is easier to measure in practice. Medical physicists may use the SNR image quality metric described here when setting up and optimizing AEC devices for chest radiography CR systems with a degree of confidence that resulting clinical image quality will be adequate for the required clinical task. However, this must be done with close cooperation of expert image evaluators, to ensure appropriate levels of detector air kerma.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number: 10.1088/0031-9155/59/9/2307
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2014 13:28
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2015 13:53

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