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J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2018 Apr;5(2):025501. doi: 10.1117/1.JMI.5.2.025501. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

Assessing CT acquisition parameters with visual-search model observers.

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University of Houston, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Houston, Texas, United States.


A principal difference between the channelized Hotelling (CH) and visual-search (VS) model observers is how they respond to noise texture in images. We compared the two observers in lesion-detection studies to evaluate linear and angular sampling parameters for CT. Simulated lung images were generated from a single two-dimensional mathematical torso phantom containing circular lesions of fixed radius and relative contrast. Projection datasets were produced for two detector pixel sizes and from 15 to 128 projections at 15 and 65 M counts per set. Filtered backprojection reconstructions were obtained with dimensions of [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text]. A localization receiver operating characteristic study was conducted with two human observers, three single-feature VS observers, and a feature-adaptive VS observer. The effects of the sampling parameters on performance were similar for all of these observers. The CH observer, applied in location-known studies with and without background variability, was not affected by the variations in angular sampling. The two-stage VS framework was an effective modification of the CH observer for assessing the effects of noise texture on human-observer performance in this study.


computed tomography; data sampling; image quality; lesion detection; model observer; task-based assessment; tomographic imaging; visual search

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