The performance of a newly developed, high resolution, microangiographic fluoroscope (MAF) (35μm pixel pitch and 300 μm thick CsI phosphor) was evaluated using a generalized linear system analysis and compared with that of a standard amorphous Si thin film transistor flat panel detector (FPD) (194 μm pixel pitch and 600 μm thick CsI phosphor). The linear system metrics such as modulation transfer function (MTF), noise power spectrum, and detection quantum efficiency (DQE) are commonly used to gauge the intrinsic detector performance in the detector plane. However, these linear system metrics do not provide information about the image receptor performance in a real system since they do not include the effects of other parameters such as focal spot distribution, scatter radiation, and geometric unsharpness, which may compromise detector performance characteristics. Use of generalized linear system metrics [generalized modulation transfer function (GMTF), generalized normalized noise power spectrum (GNNPS), and generalized detection quantum efficiency (GDQE)] that include these effects gives a more meaningful, complete, and appropriate evaluation of detector performance as part of the imaging system.
A uniform head equivalent phantom was used to simulate realistic clinical parameters and x-ray spectra. The detector MTFs were measured using the slanted edge method and the focal spot MTFs were measured using a pinhole assembly. The scatter MTF was simulated and the scatter fraction was measured for a head-equivalent phantom. The generalized system metrics were calculated for different combinations of three choices of focal spots and three different magnifications with two different air-gaps. The performance of the MAF was also illustrated using stent images obtained with different focal spots under similar conditions.
Results for the generalized metrics provide a quantitative description of the performance of the imaging system for both detectors. This generalized analysis demonstrated that both detectors have similar imaging capabilities at lower spatial frequencies, but that the MAF has superior performance over the FPD at higher frequencies even when considering focal spot blurring and scatter.
This generalized performance analysis demonstrates the significance of focal spot size, magnification, and scatter on the system performance metrics (GMTF, GNNPS, and GDQE). Although the ideal detector performance characteristics of the MAF are not fully realized due to these other system factors, it still retains an advantage in DQE at high spatial frequencies over the FPD. Similar studies based on the generalized linear system metrics can serve as an efficient tool to evaluate total system capabilities under different realistic conditions to enable optimal design for specific imaging tasks.
This work has been supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant Nos. R01EB002873 and R01EB008425 and an equipment grant from Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation.
II. METHODS AND MATERIALS
II.A. Formulation of generalized linear system metrics
II.B. Experimental setup
V. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
- Image sensors
- Medical imaging
- Display devices
- Modulation transfer functions
- Image detection systems
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