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Australas Phys Eng Sci Med. 2013 Sep;36(3):313-22. doi: 10.1007/s13246-013-0215-z. Epub 2013 Aug 17.

A new automated assessment method for contrast-detail images by applying support vector machine and its robustness to nonlinear image processing.

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  • 1Tosei General Hospital, 160 Nishioiwake-cho, Seto 489-8642, Japan.


The automated contrast-detail (C-D) analysis methods developed so-far cannot be expected to work well on images processed with nonlinear methods, such as noise reduction methods. Therefore, we have devised a new automated C-D analysis method by applying support vector machine (SVM), and tested for its robustness to nonlinear image processing. We acquired the CDRAD (a commercially available C-D test object) images at a tube voltage of 120 kV and a milliampere-second product (mAs) of 0.5-5.0. A partial diffusion equation based technique was used as noise reduction method. Three radiologists and three university students participated in the observer performance study. The training data for our SVM method was the classification data scored by the one radiologist for the CDRAD images acquired at 1.6 and 3.2 mAs and their noise-reduced images. We also compared the performance of our SVM method with the CDRAD Analyser algorithm. The mean C-D diagrams (that is a plot of the mean of the smallest visible hole diameter vs. hole depth) obtained from our devised SVM method agreed well with the ones averaged across the six human observers for both original and noise-reduced CDRAD images, whereas the mean C-D diagrams from the CDRAD Analyser algorithm disagreed with the ones from the human observers for both original and noise-reduced CDRAD images. In conclusion, our proposed SVM method for C-D analysis will work well for the images processed with the non-linear noise reduction method as well as for the original radiographic images.

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