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An Imagej plugin for performing physical analysis on digital systems for medical imaging

Abstract

The increasing sophistication and resolution of modern medical imaging device leads to an increasing of difficulties in management of the assessment and quality assurance of the quick systems turnover. The large number of technological and physical approach for each imaging modalities proposed by each vendor are so different from one another that each new purchase requires a significant resources deployment to optimize the performances. Researchers and equipment vendors need to work collaboratively to develop the quantitative protocols for imaging, scanner calibrations, and robust analytical software that will lead to the routine inclusion of quantitative parameters in the diagnosis and therapeutic assessment of human health.

The aim of this work is to present software developed by our group for assisting users in achieving a physical characterization of an X-ray digital imaging system. The software has been implemented as a ImageJ plugin. In this way, all the functionalities of the ImageJ suite can be used with our software. Further, users are facilitated, since the plugin is integrated in a suite widespread and familiar for most of the physicists of the medical imaging community. We believe that this software could be useful to a variety of users: physicists working in hospitals, and more in general, to the staff working in radiological departments, such as medical physicists, physicians, engineers.

The software developed by us can be used with images coming from different modalities (radiology, mammography) and assists users in calculating various physical parameters such as the response curve, Modulation Transfer Function (MTF), Noise Power Spectra (NPS), Detective Quantum Efficiency (DQE). In particular, the MTF can be estimated both with the slit and the edge techniques. Results can be displayed as text and graphical plots and can be exported for further processing. All the operations can be done in a very easy and friendly way, thanks to the strict interconnection with the ImageJ framework.

We are also presenting a second plugin developed by our group, which displays the DICOM header tags about all the images in a folder and its subfolders. The images must be in DICOM format. With this plugin, it is also possible to group images according to their ‘Series number’ or ‘Study number’ and to calculate the mean value, standard deviation, minimum and maximum on the selected Tags. Finally, users can search for all dose reports located in a selected folder (and its subfolders) and copy them in a different folder.

Keywords

Medical imaging, Image quality, Digital radiography, Physical characterization

Administrative data

Presenting author: Bruno Donini
Organisation: Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, Italy

co-authors: Stefano Rivetti

Marco Bertolini

Nico Lanconelli

Domenico Acchiappati

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