Extension of DQE to include scatter, grid, magnification, and focal spot blur: A new experimental technique and metric
In digital radiography, conventional DQE evaluations are performed under idealized conditions that do not reflect typical clinical operating conditions. For this reason, we have developed and evaluated an experimental methodology for measuring the effective detective quantum efficiency (eDQE) of digital radiographic systems and its utility in chest imaging applications.To emulate the attenuation and scatter properties of the human thorax across a range of sizes, the study employed pediatric and adult geometric chest imaging phantoms designed for use in the FDA/CDRH Nationwide Evaluation of X-Ray Trends (NEXT) program and a third phantom configuration designed to represent the bariatric population. The MTF for each phantom configuration was measured using images of an opaque edge device placed at the nominal surface of each phantom and at a common reference point. For each phantom, the NNPS was measured in a uniform region within the phantom image acquired at an exposure level determined from a prior phototimed acquisition. Scatter measurements were made using a beam-stop technique. These quantities were used along with measures of phantom attenuation and estimates of x-ray flux, to compute the eDQE at the beam-entrance surface of the phantoms, reflecting the presence of scatter, grid, magnification, and focal spot blur. The MTF results showed notable degradation due to focal spot blurring enhanced by geometric magnification, with increasing phantom size. Measured scatter fractions were 33%, 34% and 46% for the pediatric, adult, and bariatric phantoms, respectively. Correspondingly, the measured narrow beam transmission fractions were 16%, 9%, and 3%. The eDQE results for the pediatric and adult phantoms correlate well at low spatial frequencies but show degradation in the eDQE at increasing spatial frequencies for the adult phantom in comparison to the pediatric phantom. The results for the bariatric configuration showed a marked decrease in eDQE in comparison to the adult phantom results, across all spatial frequencies, attributable to the combined differences in geometric magnification, and scatter. The eDQE metric has been demonstrated to be sensitive to body habitus suggesting its usefulness in assessing system response across a range of chest sizes and potentially making it a useful factor in protocol assessment and optimization.©2009 SPIE.
Ranger, NT; Mackenzie, A; Honey, ID; Dobbins, JT; Ravin, CE; Samei, E
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