Influence of LCD color reproduction accuracy on observer performance using virtual pathology slides

Elizabeth A. Krupinski, Louis D. Silverstein, Syed F. Hashmi, Anna R. Graham, Ronald S. Weinstein, Hans Roehrig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The use of color LCDs in medical imaging is growing as more clinical specialties use digital images as a resource in diagnosis and treatment decisions. Telemedicine applications such as telepathology, teledermatology and teleophthalmology rely heavily on color images. However, standard methods for calibrating, characterizing and profiling color displays do not exist, resulting in inconsistent presentation. To address this, we developed a calibration, characterization and profiling protocol for color-critical medical imaging applications. Physical characterization of displays calibrated with and without the protocol revealed high color reproduction accuracy with the protocol. The present study assessed the impact of this protocol on observer performance. A set of 250 breast biopsy virtual slide regions of interest (half malignant, half benign) were shown to 6 pathologists, once using the calibration protocol and once using the same display in its "native" off-the-shelf uncalibrated state. Diagnostic accuracy and time to render a decision were measured. In terms of ROC performance, Az (area under the curve) calibrated = 0.8640; uncalibrated = 0.8558. No statistically significant difference (p = 0.2719) was observed. In terms of interpretation speed, mean calibrated = 4.895 sec, mean uncalibrated = 6.304 sec which is statistically significant (p = 0.0460). Early results suggest a slight advantage diagnostically for a properly calibrated and color-managed display and a significant potential advantage in terms of improved workflow. Future work should be conducted using different types of color images that may be more dependent on accurate color rendering and a wider range of LCDs with varying characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2012
Subtitle of host publicationImage Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
EditorsCraig K. Abbey, Claudia R. Mello-Thoms
ISBN (Electronic)9780819489678
StatePublished - 2012
EventMedical Imaging 2012: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment - San Diego, United States
Duration: Feb 8 2012Feb 9 2012

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2012: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Color calibration
  • Color displays
  • Color management
  • Diagnostic accuracy
  • Pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


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