skip to main content

Title: Correlation between human observer performance and model observer performance in differential phase contrast CT

Purpose: With the recently expanding interest and developments in x-ray differential phase contrast CT (DPC-CT), the evaluation of its task-specific detection performance and comparison with the corresponding absorption CT under a given radiation dose constraint become increasingly important. Mathematical model observers are often used to quantify the performance of imaging systems, but their correlations with actual human observers need to be confirmed for each new imaging method. This work is an investigation of the effects of stochastic DPC-CT noise on the correlation of detection performance between model and human observers with signal-known-exactly (SKE) detection tasks.Methods: The detectabilities of different objects (five disks with different diameters and two breast lesion masses) embedded in an experimental DPC-CT noise background were assessed using both model and human observers. The detectability of the disk and lesion signals was then measured using five types of model observers including the prewhitening ideal observer, the nonprewhitening (NPW) observer, the nonprewhitening observer with eye filter and internal noise (NPWEi), the prewhitening observer with eye filter and internal noise (PWEi), and the channelized Hotelling observer (CHO). The same objects were also evaluated by four human observers using the two-alternative forced choice method. The results from the model observer experimentmore » were quantitatively compared to the human observer results to assess the correlation between the two techniques.Results: The contrast-to-detail (CD) curve generated by the human observers for the disk-detection experiments shows that the required contrast to detect a disk is inversely proportional to the square root of the disk size. Based on the CD curves, the ideal and NPW observers tend to systematically overestimate the performance of the human observers. The NPWEi and PWEi observers did not predict human performance well either, as the slopes of their CD curves tended to be steeper. The CHO generated the best quantitative agreement with human observers with its CD curve overlapping with that of human observer. Statistical equivalence between CHO and humans can be claimed within 11% of the human observer results, including both the disk and lesion detection experiments.Conclusions: The model observer method can be used to accurately represent human observer performance with the stochastic DPC-CT noise for SKE tasks with sizes ranging from 8 to 128 pixels. The incorporation of the anatomical noise remains to be studied.« less
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53705 (United States)
  2. Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53705 and Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53792 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 40; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: (c) 2013 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States