On the relevance of modulation transfer function measurements in digital mammography quality control

Kristina T. Wigati, Nicholas W. Marshall, Kim Lemmens, Joke Binst, Annelies Jacobs, Lesley Cockmartin, Guozhi Zhang, Liesbeth Vancoillie, Dimitar Petrov, Dirk A.N. Vandenbroucke, Djarwani S. Soejoko, Hilde Bosmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The relevance of presampling modulation transfer function (MTF) measurements in digital mammography (DM) quality control (QC) is examined. Two studies are presented: a case study on the impact of a reduction in MTF on the technical image quality score and analysis of the robustness of routine QC MTF measurements. Approach: In the first study, two needle computed radiography (CR) plates with identical sensitivities were used with differences in the 50% point of the MTF (fMTF0.5) larger than the limiting value in the European guidelines (>10 % change between successive measurements). Technical image quality was assessed via threshold gold thickness of the CDMAM phantom and threshold microcalcification diameter of the L1 structured phantom. For the second study, presampling MTF results from 595 half-yearly QC tests of 55 DM systems (16 types, six manufacturers) were analyzed for changes from the baseline value and changes in fMTF0.5 between successive tests. Results: A reduction of 20% in fMTF0.5 of the two CR plates was observed. There was a tendency to a lower score for task-based metrics, but none were significant. Averaging over 55 systems, the absolute relative change in fMTF0.5 between consecutive tests (with 95% confidence interval) was 3% (2.5% to 3.4%). Analysis of the maximum relative change from baseline revealed changes of up to-10 % for one a-Se based system and-15 % for a group of CsI-based systems. Conclusions: A limit of 10% is a relevant action level for investigation. If exceeded, then the impact on performance has to be verified with extra metrics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023505
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • digital mammography
  • image quality
  • modulation transfer function
  • quality control
  • sharpness

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