Validation of MTF measurement for digital mammography quality control
Carton, Ann-Katherine × Vandenbroucke, Dirk Struye, Luc Maidment, Andrew D A Kao, Yen-Hong Albert, Michael Bosmans, Hilde Marchal, Guy #
Published for the American Association of Physicists in Medicine by the American Institute of Physics
Medical Physics vol:32 issue:6 pages:1684-1695
The modulation transfer function (MTF) describes the spatial resolution properties of imaging systems. In this work, the accuracy of our implementation of the edge method for calculating the presampled MTF was examined. Synthetic edge images with known MTF were used as gold standards for determining the robustness of the edge method. These images simulated realistic data from clinical digital mammography systems, and contained intrinsic system factors that could affect the MTF accuracy, such as noise, scatter, and flat-field nonuniformities. Our algorithm is not influenced by detector dose variations for MTF accuracy up to 1/2 the sampling frequency. We investigated several methods for noise reduction, including truncating the supersampled line spread function (LSF), windowing the LSF, applying a local exponential fit to the LSF, and applying a monotonic constraint to the supersampled edge spread function. Only the monotonic constraint did not introduce a systematic error; the other methods could result in MTF underestimation. Overall, our edge method consistently computed MTFs which were in good agreement with the true MTF. The edge method was then applied to images from a commercial storage-phosphor based digital mammography system. The calculated MTF was affected by the size (sides of 2.5, 5, or 10 cm) and the composition (lead or tungsten) of the edge device. However, the effects on the MTF were observed only with regard to the low frequency drop (LFD). Scatter nonuniformity was dependent on edge size, and could lead to slight underestimation of LFD. Nevertheless, this negative effect could be minimized by using an edge of 5 cm or larger. An edge composed of lead is susceptible to L-fluorescence, which causes overestimation of the LFD. The results of this work are intended to underline the need for clear guidelines if the MTF is to be given a more crucial role in acceptance tests and routine assessment of digital mammography systems: the MTF algorithm and edge object test tool need to be publicly validated.