SU-F-I-80: Correction for Bias in a Channelized Hotelling Model Observer Caused by Temporally Variable Non-Stationary Noise

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Abstract

Purpose:

Application of a channelized Hotelling model observer (CHO) over a wide range of x-ray angiography detector target dose (DTD) levels demonstrated substantial bias for conditions yielding low detectability indices (d’), including low DTD and small test objects. The purpose of this work was to develop theory and methods to correct this bias.

Methods:

A hypothesis was developed wherein the measured detectability index (d’b) for a known test object is positively biased by temporally variable non-stationary noise in the images. Hotelling's T2 test statistic provided the foundation for a mathematical theory which accounts for independent contributions to the measured d’b value from both the test object (d’o) and non-stationary noise (d’ns). Experimental methods were developed to directly estimate d’o by determining d’ns and subtracting it from d’b, in accordance with the theory. Specifically, d’ns was determined from two sets of images from which the traditional test object was withheld. This method was applied to angiography images with DTD levels in the range 0 to 240 nGy and for disk-shaped iodine-based contrast targets with diameters 0.5 to 4.0 mm.

Results:

Bias in d’ was evidenced by d’b values which exceeded values expected from a quantum limited imaging system and decreasing object size and DTD. d’ns increased with decreasing DTD, reaching a maximum of 2.6 for DTD = 0. Bias-corrected d’o estimates demonstrated sub-quantum limited performance of the x-ray angiography for low DTD. Findings demonstrated that the source of non-stationary noise was detector electronic readout noise.

Conclusion:

Theory and methods to estimate and correct bias in CHO measurements from temporally variable non-stationary noise were presented. The temporal non-stationary noise was shown to be due to electronic readout noise. This method facilitates accurate estimates of d’ values over a large range of object size and detector target dose.

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