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Digital Radiography

Basic Concepts

Image Quality Concepts


Spatial Resolution (limiting resolution) Noise: Quantum Mottle

Nature of the Digital Image


Spatial Digitization Analog-to-Digital Conversion

Digital Radiography Factors


Spatial Digitization and Resolution ADC and Noise ADC and Dynamic Range

Basic Concepts: Limiting Resolution

Limiting Resolution (simplest form): Measurement and Units: Bar pattern

refers to the smallest, closely spaced objects for which separate images can be seen

Basic Concepts: Limiting Resolution

Limiting Resolution (simplest form):

Measurement and Units: Bar pattern


Measured using bar pattern (lead strips separated by spaces) and expressed as smallest visible bar size or highest spatial frequency (line-pairs/mm)

Sources Blurring in radiography:


Focal spot (all types of radiography) Motion (all types of radiography) Receptor blur - depends on receptor

Radiography Image Receptor Blur

Dual Receptors (Screens)

Noise and Image Quality

Image Noise: Quantum mottle

Quantum mottle (QM) refers to the graininess of x-ray images QM is caused by using a limited number of x-ray photons to make an image

QM interferes with ability to details


Using more photons (more mAs) reduces noise but increases radiation exposure

The Nature of the Digital Image


Basic Concepts: Resolution and Noise The Digitization Process

Spatial Digitization Analog-to-Digital Conversion (ADC)

Radiation Dose, Noise and Resolution


Resolution versus Dose: receptor thickness Dose versus Image Noise (Quantum mottle)

Dynamic Range

The Digitization Process

Every image starts out in analog form:


light image emitted by screen light image from intensifier output phosphor TV camera voltages Stimulated light from computed radiography

Analog image must be converted (digitized) to matrix of pixels stored as binary numbers
Spatial digitization: generation of pixels Analog-to-Digital Conversion (ADC)

Spatial Digitization (pixels): Sampling

Must measure image along many rows (512, 1024, etc) and at many point along each row Sampling done by:
detector with discrete elements (eg, CCD camera, flat panel detector) or Raster scan process

Matrix Size, Resolution and Bytes


Regular Film/Screen: 5 line-pairs/mm To Equal with Digital Image:

5 lp/mm = 10 pixels/mm (to see 5 bars+5 spaces) 35 x 43 cm (14 x 17) image = 350 x 430 mm 350 x 430 mm at 10 pixels/mm = 3500 x 4300 pixels 3500 x 4300 x 2 bytes/pixel (16 bits/pixel) = 30 MB

Digital Radiography
Typically 2000 x 2500 pixels maximum (~3 lp/mm)

Digital Spatial Resolution

Spatial Digizitation: ADC

ADC and Noise: How many bits?

Contrast vs Latitude (Dyamic Range)

ADC and Dynamic Range

Suppose we have:
10 bit ADC: (1024 graylevels) 1000:1 dynamic range (e.g. we can measure and record exposures from 1 mR to 1000 mR (1 R):

Need 1 mR difference for different graylevel


Differences between structures to see in image may be < 1 mR in x-ray intensity reaching the receptor

Alternatives:
throw out some dynamic range (limit range) Increase number of bits (still uncommon)

Digital Detectors
Cassette-based: Image Storage Phosphor (CR) Image Intensifier Scanned Projection Direct Digitizing (Full Field)

CCD Camera Selenium Flat Panel (Direct Digital Radiography) Phosphor Flat Panel (Indirect Digital Radiography)

Future Technology

Digital Detectors
Cassette based Image Storage Phosphor (CR) Image Intensifier Scanned Projection Direct Digitizing (Full Field)

CCD Camera Selenium Flat Panel (Direct Digital Radiography) Phosphor Flat Panel (Indirect Digital Radiography)

Future Technology

CR Clinical Use

Conventional CR Scanning

Flying Spot CR Scan


In a conventional flying spot CR reader, stimulated output exposure (scan level) from the IP is proportional to the laser intensity I and dwell time Td

Absorption Efficiency

CR Blur

Dynamic Range (Latitude)

Dynamic Range, or latitude refers the range of exposures which provide useful diagnostic information. For film, is the the range of exposures that provide acceptable optical densities (ie, not too dark and not too light)

Dynamic Range
LGM and OD vs Exposure

Agfa CR vs Lanex Reg


3.5 3
Lanex Reg

LGM or OD

2.5 2

CR-200

1.5 1

0.5 0
0 0.30.60.91.21.51.82.12.42.7 3 3.33.63.94.24.54.8

Log Relative Exposure (Log (Ei/Eo)

Dynamic Range (Latitude) CR vs Film

Dynamic Range (latitude): range of exposures providing useful diagnostic information

Regular F/S: 16:1 (between 0.5 and 2.5 OD) (exposure yielding 2.5 OD is 16x exposure yielding 0.5 OD) CR: >10,000:1 (between minimum and maximum measurable scan levels)

CR and Film Density

1/8 x E

4xE

Radiation Dose with DR

How much is enough ?


Image Noise (Quantum mottle) required image quality

How much is too much?


Patient radiation exposure concerns possible saturation of parts of image (all black)

Noise and Proper Exposure Levels


LgM=1.10 LgM=2.1

0.1 Exposure

Correct Exposure

FUTURE CR TECHNOLOGY
New phosphors and scan head technology Dual Energy

Flat Panel CR Receptor Devices

Dual Energy Imaging