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Barco Coronis Uniti

Higher display luminance may correct effects of lower radiation dose in mammography

by Lisa Chamoff , Contributing Reporter
Increasing display luminance when reading a mammogram may allow for decreased radiation dose during an exam without sacrificing image quality and diagnostic accuracy, according to a study presented at the recent SIIM annual meeting.

Dr. Elizabeth Krupinski, an experimental psychologist who serves as vice chair for research in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Emory University, has been studying various imaging display technologies for more than 25 years. She said Barco – which manufactures a 12-megapixel monitor with a proprietary feature called SpotView that focuses light on areas being viewed more closely, mimicking the bright light used in film mammography to enhance the visibility – approached her about studying the technology’s effect on dose.

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“Since I’m one of the few people in the world that does this type of analysis, I thought this would be interesting,” Krupinski told HCB News.

For the study, Krupinski took two phantom images using a full-field digital mammography system. Each exam used 26-kilovolts, but one had a lower radiation dose – 45 milliamperage-seconds (mAs) versus 50 mAs – resulting in entrance surface doses of 7.093 milligray (mGy) and 7.880 mGy. The images were processed so that the average gray level of the background was independent of the dose level, while maintaining signal to noise ratio.

Eight radiologists viewed the images on Barco’s Coronis Uniti monitors using a luminance of 420 candela per square metre (cd/m2), 1,000 cd/m2 and the monitor’s SpotView feature, which covered the entire image generated by the phantom. When reading a clinical mammogram, radiologists would use the feature to highlight specific areas of the image.

Krupinski calculated the percentage the radiologists were correct in detecting abnormalities and the average time they spent per image.

While diagnostic accuracy was higher overall for the high-dose images, SpotView followed by the 1,000 cd/m2 luminance increased diagnostic accuracy significantly over the 420 cd/m2 luminance for the lower-dose images. The time spent per image decreased with the increase in luminance.

Specifically, increasing the display luminance from 400 cd/m2 to 1,000 cd/m2 increased reading accuracy by approximately 3 percent and decreased reading time by about 6 percent. The use of SpotView increased reading accuracy by about 6.2 percent and decreased reading time about 16 percent.

“Perhaps one can go a bit further and help correct the effects of the lower doses with this luminance tool,” Krupinski said.

Krupinski, who gave an oral presentation on the study at SIIM and also submitted it to the Journal of Digital Imaging, said the next step is to look at the effect of luminance and the SpotView technology on clinical images.

“Barco Healthcare is continually looking for ways to streamline radiology workflow and support the best patient care,” Lynda Domogalla, vice president of product marketing at Barco Healthcare told HCB News. “We are proud that with SpotView and Coronis Uniti we can help healthcare professionals to achieve both, with proven enhancements to workflow and the possibility to reduce mammographic radiation dose without impacting diagnostic accuracy.”

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