An image-display application for medical liquid–crystal display (LCD) monitors called the sharpness recovery (SR) function has been developed to compensate for image sharpness as a function of deficiencies in the modulation transfer function (MTF) of a monitor. We investigated the effects of the SR function for a five-megapixel (MP) mammography LCD monitor on the resolution and noise properties of the displayed images by measuring the MTF and overall noise power spectrum (NPS), respectively. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the SR function for the 5-MP monitor in displaying subtle microcalcifications on digital mammograms was verified using a two-alternative-forced-choice sensitivity measurement as an initial application for medical image interpretation. Four radiologists compared the visibility of 45 regions of interest with a malignant microcalcification cluster shown on SR-processed and unprocessed mammograms. SR processing improved the MTF of the displayed images by approximately 40% at the Nyquist frequency of the 5-MP monitor, whereas it slightly increased the overall NPS values. All observers indicated that the fraction of cases considered to have better visibility of microcalcifications with the SR processing was significantly greater than that without the processing (averaging 82%, with the 95% confidence interval ranging from 70 to 93%). The SR processing for the 5-MP monitor yielded a significant improvement in the resolution properties of the displayed images, with a certain increase in the image noise. The SR function has the potential to improve the observer performance of radiologists, particularly when reading subtle microcalcifications reproduced on 5-MP monitors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging