Assessing computed tomography image quality for combined detection and estimation tasks

Hsin Wu Tseng, Jiahua Fan, Matthew A. Kupinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Maintaining or even improving image quality while lowering patient dose is always the desire in clinical computed tomography (CT) imaging. Iterative reconstruction (IR) algorithms have been designed to allow for a reduced dose while maintaining or even improving an image. However, we have previously shown that the dose-saving capabilities allowed with IR are different for different clinical tasks. The channelized scanning linear observer (CSLO) was applied to study clinical tasks that combine detection and estimation when assessing CT image data. The purpose of this work is to illustrate the importance of task complexity when assessing dose savings and to move toward more realistic tasks when performing these types of studies. Human-observer validation of these methods will take place in a future publication. Low-contrast objects embedded in body-size phantoms were imaged multiple times and reconstructed by filtered back projection (FBP) and an IR algorithm. The task was to detect, localize, and estimate the size and contrast of low-contrast objects in the phantom. Independent signal-present and signal-absent regions of interest cropped from images were channelized by the dense-difference of Gauss channels for CSLO training and testing. Estimation receiver operating characteristic (EROC) curves and the areas under EROC curves (EAUC) were calculated by CSLO as the figure of merit. The one-shot method was used to compute the variance of the EAUC values. Results suggest that the IR algorithm studied in this work could efficiently reduce the dose by ∼50% while maintaining an image quality comparable to conventional FBP reconstruction warranting further investigation using real patient data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045503
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • EROC curves
  • channelized scanning linear observer
  • computed tomography
  • detection
  • estimation
  • estimation receiver operating characteristic
  • iterative reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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