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Phys Med Biol. 2006 Sep 7;51(17):4289-310. Epub 2006 Aug 15.

X-ray imaging optimization using virtual phantoms and computerized observer modelling.

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Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180, USA.


This study develops and demonstrates a realistic x-ray imaging simulator with computerized observers to maximize lesion detectability and minimize patient exposure. A software package, ViPRIS, incorporating two computational patient phantoms, has been developed for simulating x-ray radiographic images. A tomographic phantom, VIP-Man, constructed from Visible Human anatomical colour images is used to simulate the scattered portion using the ESGnrc Monte Carlo code. The primary portion of an x-ray image is simulated using the projection ray-tracing method through the Visible Human CT data set. To produce a realistic image, the software simulates quantum noise, blurring effects, lesions, detector absorption efficiency and other imaging artefacts. The primary and scattered portions of an x-ray chest image are combined to form a final image for computerized observer studies and image quality analysis. Absorbed doses in organs and tissues of the segmented VIP-Man phantom were also obtained from the Monte Carlo simulations. Approximately 25,000 simulated images and 2,500,000 data files were analysed using computerized observers. Hotelling and Laguerre-Gauss Hotelling observers are used to perform various lesion detection tasks. Several model observer tasks were used including SKE/BKE, MAFC and SKEV. The energy levels and fluence at the minimum dose required to detect a small lesion were determined with respect to lesion size, location and system parameters.

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