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Artifacts in slab average-intensity-projection images reformatted from JPEG 2000 compressed thin-section abdominal CT data sets

Authors
Publisher
American Roentgen Ray Society
Publication Date
Keywords
  • *Algorithms
  • Anatomy
  • Cross-Sectional/*Methods
  • *Artifacts
  • Data Compression/*Methods/Standards
  • Humans
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation
  • Computer-Assisted/*Methods
  • Radiography
  • Abdominal/*Methods
  • Reproducibility Of Results
  • Sensitivity And Specificity
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to assess the effects of compressing source thin-section abdominal CT images on final transverse average-intensity-projection (AIP) images. MATERIALS AND METHODS: At reversible, 4:1, 6:1, 8:1, 10:1, and 15:1 Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) 2000 compressions, we compared the artifacts in 20 matching compressed thin sections (0.67 mm), compressed thick sections (5 mm), and AIP images (5 mm) reformatted from the compressed thin sections. The artifacts were quantitatively measured with peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) and a perceptual quality metric (High Dynamic Range Visual Difference Predictor [HDR-VDP]). By comparing the compressed and original images, three radiologists independently graded the artifacts as 0 (none, indistinguishable), 1 (barely perceptible), 2 (subtle), or 3 (significant). Friedman tests and exact tests for paired proportions were used. RESULTS: At irreversible compressions, the artifacts tended to increase in the order of AIP, thick-section, and thin-section images in terms of PSNR (p < 0.0001), HDR-VDP (p < 0.0001), and the readers' grading (p < 0.01 at 6:1 or higher compressions). At 6:1 and 8:1, distinguishable pairs (grades 1-3) tended to increase in the order of AIP, thick-section, and thin-section images. Visually lossless threshold for the compression varied between images but decreased in the order of AIP, thick-section, and thin-section images (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Compression artifacts in thin sections are significantly attenuated in AIP images. On the premise that thin sections are typically reviewed using an AIP technique, it is justifiable to compress them to a compression level currently accepted for thick sections.

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