Interleaved echo-planar imaging (EPI) is an ultrafast imaging technique important for applications that require high time resolution or short total acquisition times. Unfortunately, EPI is prone to significant ghosting artifacts, resulting primarily from system time delays that cause data matrix misregistration. In this work, it is shown mathematically and experimentally that system time delays are orientation dependent, resulting from anisotropic physical gradient delays. This analysis characterizes the behavior of time delays in oblique coordinates, and a new ghosting artifact caused by anisotropic delays is described. "Compensation blips" are proposed for time delay correction. These blips are shown to remove the effects of anisotropic gradient delays, eliminating the need for repeated reference scans and postprocessing corrections. Examples of phantom and in vivo images are shown. (+info)
Why and how is soft copy reading possible in clinical practice?
The properties of the human visual system (HVS) relevant to the diagnostic process are described after a brief introduction on the general problems and advantages of using soft copy for primary radiology interpretations. At various spatial and temporal frequencies the contrast sensitivity defines the spatial resolution of the eye-brain system and the sensitivity to flicker. The adaptation to the displayed radiological scene and the ambient illumination determine the dynamic range for the operation of the HVS. Although image display devices are determined mainly by state-of-the-art technology, analysis of the HVS may suggest technical characteristics for electronic displays that will help to optimize the display to the operation of the HVS. These include display size, spatial resolution, contrast resolution, luminance range, and noise, from which further consequences for the technical components of a monitor follow. It is emphasized that routine monitor quality control must be available in clinical practice. These image quality measures must be simple enough to be applied as part of the daily routine. These test instructions might also serve as elements of technical acceptance and constancy tests. (+info)
The effect of the antiscatter grid on full-field digital mammography phantom images.
Computer Analysis of Mammography Phantom Images (CAMPI) is a method for making quantitative measurements of image quality. This article reports on a recent application of this method to a prototype full-field digital mammography (FFDM) machine. Images of a modified ACR phantom were acquired on the General Electric Diagnostic Molybdenum Rhodium (GE-DMR) FFDM machine at a number of x-ray techniques, both with and without the scatter reduction grid. The techniques were chosen so that one had sets of grid and non-grid images with matched doses (200 mrads) and matched gray-scale values (1500). A third set was acquired at constant 26 kVp and varying mAs for both grid conditions. Analyses of the images yielded signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR), contrast and noise corresponding to each target object, and a non-uniformity measure. The results showed that under conditions of equal gray-scale value the grid images were markedly superior, albeit at higher doses than the non-grid images. Under constant dose conditions, the non-grid images were slightly superior in SNR (7%) but markedly less uniform (60%). Overall, the grid images had substantially greater contrast and superior image uniformity. These conclusions applied to the whole kVp range studied for the Mo-Mo target filter combination and 4 cm of breast equivalent material of average composition. These results suggest that use of the non-grid technique in digital mammography with the GE-DMR-FFDM unit, is presently not warranted. With improved uniformity correction procedure, this conclusion would change and one should be able to realize a 14% reduction in patient dose at the same SNR by using a non-grid technique. (+info)
A new filtering algorithm for medical magnetic resonance and computer tomography images.
Inner views of tubular structures based on computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) data sets may be created by virtual endoscopy. After a preliminary segmentation procedure for selecting the organ to be represented, the virtual endoscopy is a new postprocessing technique using surface or volume rendering of the data sets. In the case of surface rendering, the segmentation is based on a grey level thresholding technique. To avoid artifacts owing to the noise created in the imaging process, and to restore spurious resolution degradations, a robust Wiener filter was applied. This filter working in Fourier space approximates the noise spectrum by a simple function that is proportional to the square root of the signal amplitude. Thus, only points with tiny amplitudes consisting mostly of noise are suppressed. Further artifacts are avoided by the correct selection of the threshold range. Afterwards, the lumen and the inner walls of the tubular structures are well represented and allow one to distinguish between harmless fluctuations and medically significant structures. (+info)
Computed radiography dual energy subtraction: performance evaluation when detecting low-contrast lung nodules in an anthropomorphic phantom.
A dedicated chest computed radiography (CR) system has an option of energy subtraction (ES) acquisition. Two imaging plates, rather than one, are separated by a copper filter to give a high-energy and low-energy image. This study compares the diagnostic accuracy of conventional computed radiography to that of ES obtained with two radiographic techniques. One soft tissue only image was obtained at the conventional CR technique (s = 254) and the second was obtained at twice the radiation exposure (s = 131) to reduce noise. An anthropomorphic phantom with superimposed low-contrast lung nodules was imaged 53 times for each radiographic technique. Fifteen images had no nodules; 38 images had a total of 90 nodules placed on the phantom. Three chest radiologists read the three sets of images in a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) study. Significant differences in Az were only found between (1) the higher exposure energy subtracted images and the conventional dose energy subtracted images (P = .095, 90% confidence), and (2) the conventional CR and the energy subtracted image obtained at the same technique (P = .024, 98% confidence). As a result of this study, energy subtracted images cannot be substituted for conventional CR images when detecting low-contrast nodules, even when twice the exposure is used to obtain them. (+info)
Filter-based coded-excitation system for high-speed ultrasonic imaging.
We have recently presented a new algorithm for high-speed parallel processing of ultrasound pulse-echo data for real-time three-dimensional (3-D) imaging. The approach utilizes a discretized linear model of the echo data received from the region of interest (ROI) using a conventional beam former. The transmitter array elements are fed with binary codes designed to produce distinct impulse responses from different directions in ROI. Image reconstruction in ROI is achieved with a regularized pseudoinverse operator derived from the linear receive signal model. The reconstruction operator can be implemented using a transversal filter bank with every filter in the bank designed to extract echoes from a specific direction in the ROI. The number of filters in the bank determines the number of image lines acquired simultaneously. In this paper, we present images of a cyst phantom reconstructed based on our formulation. A number of issues of practical significance in image reconstruction are addressed. Specifically, an augmented model is introduced to account for imperfect blocking of echoes from outside the ROI. We have also introduced a column-weighting algorithm for minimizing the number of filter coefficients. In addition, a detailed illustration of a full image reconstruction using subimage acquisition and compounding is given. Experimental results have shown that the new approach is valid for phased-array pulse-echo imaging of speckle-generating phantoms typically used in characterizing medical imaging systems. Such coded-excitation-based image reconstruction from speckle-generating phantoms, to the best of our knowledge, have not been reported previously. (+info)
The size and fibre composition of the corpus callosum with respect to gender and schizophrenia: a post-mortem study.
In this study the cross-sectional area (in n = 14 female controls, 15 male controls, 11 female patients with schizophrenia, 15 male patients with schizophrenia) and fibre composition (in n = 11 female controls, 10 male controls, 10 female patients with schizophrenia, 10 male patients with schizophrenia) of the corpus callosum in post-mortem control and schizophrenic brains was examined. A gender x diagnosis interaction (P = 0.005) was seen in the density of axons in all regions of the corpus callosum except the posterior midbody and splenium. Amongst controls, females had greater density than males; in patients with schizophrenia this difference was reversed. A reduction in the total number of fibres in all regions of the corpus callosum except the rostrum was observed in female schizophrenic patients (P = 0.006; when controlling for brain weight, P = 0.053). A trend towards a reduced cross-sectional area of the corpus callosum was seen in schizophrenia (P = 0.098); however, this is likely to be no more than a reflection of an overall reduction in brain size. With age, all subregions of the corpus callosum except the rostrum showed a significant reduction in cross-sectional area (P = 0.018) and total fibre number (P = 0.002). These findings suggest that in schizophrenia there is a subtle and gender-dependent alteration in the forebrain commissures that may relate to the deviations in asymmetry seen in other studies, but the precise anatomical explanation remains obscure. (+info)
DENSE: displacement encoding with stimulated echoes in cardiac functional MRI.
Displacement encoding with stimulated echoes (DENSE) was developed for high-resolution myocardial displacement mapping. Pixel phase is modulated by myocardial displacement and data spatial resolution is limited only by pixel size. 2D displacement vector maps were generated for the systolic action in canines with 0.94 x 1.9 mm nominal in-plane resolution and 2.3 mm/pi displacement encoding. A radial strain of 0.208 was measured across the free left ventricular wall over 105 ms during systole. DENSE displacement maps require small first-order gradient moments for encoding. DENSE magnitude images exhibit black-blood contrast which allows for better myocardial definition and reduced motion-related artifacts. (+info)