Purpose: We investigated the clinical utility of a radiological technologist’s (RT)’s reports (RRs) as a second opinion by the free-response receiver operating characteristic (FROC) observer study that compared the performance of medical doctors’ (MDs’) reading of digital mammogram with and without consulting the RR. Method: One hundred women (39 malignant, 61 benign or normal) who underwent diagnostic mammography were selected from among 1674 routine clinical images classified by the degree of difficulty and categories for inclusion in the FROC study. The first FROC study performed by three RTs (RT 1–3) was conducted to collect the data for RR utilized in the second FROC study. The second FROC study was performed by five MDs, and the statistical significance of MDs’ performances with and without reference to the RR was investigated by figure of merit (FOM). Result: The FOM values of three RTs obtained in the first FROC study were 0.529, 0.576, and 0.539, respectively. In the second FROC study, RT 2 had the highest FOM, RT 1 the lowest false positives/case, and RT 3 the highest sensitivity. The average FOM values in the second FROC study for the five MDs with/without reference to the RR were as follows: RT 2’s RR was 0.534/0.588 (p=0.003), RT 1’s RR was 0.500/0.545 (p=0.099), and RT 3’s RR was 0.569/0.592 (p=0.324). Conclusion: We concluded that the MDs’ performance of reading mammogram was statistically improved by consulting the RR when the RT’s reading skill was high.
Purpose: The purpose of this paper was to determine the optimal imaging conditions for four-dimensional cone-beam computed tomography (4D-CBCT) using an X-ray tube and a flat-panel detector mounted on a radiotherapy device. Methods: The optimal imaging conditions were examined by changing the gantry speed (GS) parameter that affected the exposure time. Exposed dose during imaging and image quality of moving phantom were compared between examined conditions. Results: The weighted computed tomography dose index (CTDIW) decreased linearly with increasing GS. However, when GS was 180°/min or faster, the image quality degraded, and errors of 1 mm or more were observed regarding the size of mock tumor in the moving phantom. The accuracy of automatic image matching was within 0.1 mm when GS of 120°/min or slower was chosen. Conclusion: From the results of this study, we concluded that GS of 120°/min is the optimum imaging condition. Under this imaging condition, the exposure time and CTDIW can be reduced by about 50% without compromising the accuracy of image registration, compared to the conventional GS of 70°/min. In addition, it has been clarified that there is an event that image reconstruction is not performed correctly due to the influence of phantom artifacts without depending on GS.
Dynamic pulmonary computed tomography (CT) enables morphological analyses of tumor adhesion and infiltration and functional analyses of the lungs based on four-dimensional data. However, the functional analysis requires visualization of the respiratory cycle. The aim of the present study was to investigate the utility of spectral analysis as part of the functional analysis of the lungs based on dynamic pulmonary CT. In this study, the reference curves for the respiratory cycle were obtained using measurements of all phases of respiration based on the movement of the diaphragm. The reference curves and fields of the unaffected lung were divided into three sections: upper, middle, and lower. The central position within each lung field in the axial section was used as the fixed location, and the lung field concentrations (CT values within each lung field) were measured. Using the maximum entropy (ME) method, the spectral analysis was performed for the lung field concentration curves obtained in this manner. The investigated items were the peak frequency in the power spectrum based on the ME analysis of the reference curve and the time difference from this peak frequency in the upper, middle, and lower lung field concentration curves. The time differences (median±standard deviation) from the reference values were 0.18±0.20, 0.34±0.33, and 0.34±0.35 s in the upper, middle, and lower lung fields, respectively, indicating the smallest time difference in the upper lung field. Performing spectral analysis using the ME method on lung field concentration curves enables assessment of the respiratory cycle based on dynamic pulmonary CT, and this approach is consistent with the visual assessment of the respiratory cycle.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to clarify the optimal post-reconstruction filtering type in the three- dimensional ordered subset expectation maximization (3D-OSEM) method for bone single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) from image quality and quantitative values. Method: We scanned a National Electrical Manufactures Association’s body phantom for bone SPECT filled with radioactive solution of 99mTc whose radioactivity concentration was accurately measured. The SPECT images were created using the 3D-OSEM method. Post-reconstruction filtering was performed using a Butterworth filter (BW), a Gaussian filter (GA), and a Hanning filter (HA) with various parameters. The image quality was evaluated by the normalized mean-squared error (NMSE) value and % of contrast-to-noise ratio (QNR17). The image quality was evaluated by the error values between the measured radioactivity concentration and the true radioactivity concentration in the BG region and insert sphere. Results: The minimum NMSE values were 0.034 (BW), 0.036 (GA), and 0.035 (HA), and there was no difference depending on the filter type. The values of QNR17 were 2.5 (BW), 2.6 (GA), and 2.6 (HA), and there was no difference depending on the filter type. The BG region was greatly affected by parameter changes in GA but less by those in BW and HA. The error values of the 37 mm insert sphere were 18.0% (BW), 28.2% (GA), and 26.2% (HA), and BW showed the lowest value. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the post-reconstruction filtering type used in the 3D-OSEM method was BW from the image quality and quantitative values.
This study evaluated the effects of three types of hybrid iterative reconstruction (IR) on image quality of pediatric body computed tomography images. The image quality components evaluated were noise power spectrum (NPS), task-based modulation transfer function (TTF), and system performance function (SPF). As the IR strength was increased while reducing the radiation dose, the NPS increased in a low-frequency range and the TTF decreased in low-contrast regions. In the low-contrast regions, the calculated SPF decreased over the entire frequency range. Alternatively, in the high-contrast regions, the SPF decreased in the low-frequency regions and increased in the high-frequency regions. The radiation dose reduction using the hybrid IR resulted in the deterioration of the image quality in the low-contrast regions and changes in the spatial frequency characteristics in the high-contrast regions.