Development and evaluation of a method of calibrating medical displays based on fixed adaptation

Authors

  • Sund Patrik,

    1. Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg SE-41345, Sweden and Department of Radiation Physics, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg SE-41345, Sweden
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  • Månsson Lars Gunnar,

    1. Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg SE-41345, Sweden and Department of Radiation Physics, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg SE-41345, Sweden
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  • Båth Magnus

    1. Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg SE-41345, Sweden and Department of Radiation Physics, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg SE-41345, Sweden
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Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this work was to develop and evaluate a new method for calibration of medical displays that includes the effect of fixed adaptation and by using equipment and luminance levels typical for a modern radiology department.

Methods:

Low contrast sinusoidal test patterns were derived at nine luminance levels from 2 to 600 cd/m2 and used in a two alternative forced choice observer study, where the adaptation level was fixed at the logarithmic average of 35 cd/m2. The contrast sensitivity at each luminance level was derived by establishing a linear relationship between the ten pattern contrast levels used at every luminance level and a detectability index (d′) calculated from the fraction of correct responses. A Gaussian function was fitted to the data and normalized to the adaptation level. The corresponding equation was used in a display calibration method that included the grayscale standard display function (GSDF) but compensated for fixed adaptation. In the evaluation study, the contrast of circular objects with a fixed pixel contrast was displayed using both calibration methods and was rated on a five-grade scale. Results were calculated using a visual grading characteristics method. Error estimations in both observer studies were derived using a bootstrap method.

Results:

The contrast sensitivities for the darkest and brightest patterns compared to the contrast sensitivity at the adaptation luminance were 37% and 56%, respectively. The obtained Gaussian fit corresponded well with similar studies. The evaluation study showed a higher degree of equally distributed contrast throughout the luminance range with the calibration method compensated for fixed adaptation than for the GSDF. The two lowest scores for the GSDF were obtained for the darkest and brightest patterns. These scores were significantly lower than the lowest score obtained for the compensated GSDF. For the GSDF, the scores for all luminance levels were statistically separated from the average value; three were lower and two were higher. For the compensated GSDF, three of the scores could not be separated from the average value.

Conclusions:

An observer study using clinically relevant displays and luminance settings has demonstrated that the calibration of displays according to the GSDF causes the perceived contrast to be unevenly distributed when using displays with a high luminance range. As the luminance range increases, the perceived contrast in the dark and bright regions will be significantly lower than the perceived contrast in the middle of the luminance range. A new calibration method that includes the effect of fixed adaptation was developed and evaluated in an observer study and was found to distribute the contrast of the display more evenly throughout the grayscale than the GSDF.

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