Determining the MTF of medical imaging displays using edge techniques

Amarpreet S. Chawla, Hans Roehrig, Jeffrey J. Rodriguez, Jiahua Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The modulation transfer function (MTF) of a medical imaging display is typically determined by measuring its response to square waves (bar patterns), white noise, and/or line stimuli. However, square waves and white noise methods involve capture and analysis of multiple images and are thus quite tedious. Measurement of the line-spread function (LSF) offers a good alternative. However, as previously reported, low-frequency response obtained from the LSF method is not as good as that obtained from measurement of edge-spread function (ESF). In this paper, we present two methods for evaluating the MTF of a medical imaging display from its ESF. High degree of accuracy in the higher frequency region (near the Nyquist frequency of the system) was achieved by reducing the noise. In the first method, whichis a variant of the Gans' original method, the periodic raster noise is reduced by subtracting a shifted ESF from the ESF. The second method employs a low-pass differentiator (LPD). A novel near maximally flat LPD with the desired cut-off frequency was designed for this purpose. Noise reduction in both the methods was alsoachieved by averaging over large portions of the image data to form the ESF. Experimental results show that the MTF obtained by these methods is comparable to that obtained from the square wave response. Furthermore, the MTFs of rising and falling edges of a cathode ray tube (CRT) were measured. The results show that the rising and falling vertical MTFs are practically the same, whereas the rising horizontal MTF is poorer than the falling horizontal MTF in the midfrequency region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-310
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Digital Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Cathode ray tube (CRT)
  • Edge-spread function (ESF)
  • Gans' method
  • Image quality
  • Line-spread function (LSF)
  • Liquid crystal display (LCD)
  • Low-pass differentiator
  • Modulation transfer function (MTF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Science Applications


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