Effective detective quantum efficiency for two mammography systems: Measurement and comparison against established metrics




The aim of this paper was to illustrate the value of the new metric effective detective quantum efficiency (eDQE) in relation to more established measures in the optimization process of two digital mammography systems. The following metrics were included for comparison against eDQE: detective quantum efficiency (DQE) of the detector, signal difference to noise ratio (SdNR), and detectability index (d′) calculated using a standard nonprewhitened observer with eye filter.


The two systems investigated were the Siemens MAMMOMAT Inspiration and the Hologic Selenia Dimensions. The presampling modulation transfer function (MTF) required for the eDQE was measured using two geometries: a geometry containing scattered radiation and a low scatter geometry. The eDQE, SdNR, andd′ were measured for poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) thicknesses of 20, 40, 60, and 70 mm, with and without the antiscatter grid and for a selection of clinically relevant target/filter (T/F) combinations. Figures of merit (FOMs) were then formed from SdNR and d′ using the mean glandular dose as the factor to express detriment. Detector DQE was measured at energies covering the range of typical clinically used spectra.


The MTF measured in the presence of scattered radiation showed a large drop at low spatial frequency compared to the low scatter method and led to a corresponding reduction in eDQE. The eDQE for the Siemens system at 1 mm−1 ranged between 0.15 and 0.27, depending on T/F and grid setting. For the Hologic system, eDQE at 1 mm−1 varied from 0.15 to 0.32, again depending on T/F and grid setting. The eDQE results for both systems showed that the grid increased the system efficiency for PMMA thicknesses of 40 mm and above but showed only small sensitivity to T/F setting. While results of the SdNR and d′ based FOMs confirmed the eDQE grid position results, they were also more specific in terms of T/F selection. For the Siemens system at 20 mm PMMA, the FOMs indicated Mo/Mo (grid out) as optimal while W/Rh (grid in) was the optimal configuration at 40, 60, and 70 mm PMMA. For the Hologic, the FOMs pointed to W/Rh (grid in) at 20 and 40 mm of PMMA while W/Ag (grid in) gave the highest FOM at 60 and 70 mm PMMA. Finally, DQE at 1 mm−1 averaged for the four beam qualities studied was 0.44 ± 0.02 and 0.55 ± 0.03 for the Siemens and Hologic detectors, respectively, indicating only a small influence of energy on detector DQE.


Both the DQE and eDQE data showed only a small sensitivity to T/F setting for these two systems. The eDQE showed clear preferences in terms of scatter reduction, being highest for the grid-in geometry for PMMA thicknesses of 40 mm and above. The SdNR andd′ based figures of merit, which contain additional weighting for contrast and dose, pointed to specific T/F settings for both systems.