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Proceedings Paper

Using irreversible compression in digital radiology: a preliminary study of the opinions of radiologists
Author(s): Euclid Seeram
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Paper Abstract

The large volumes of digital images produced by digital imaging modalities in Radiology have provided the motivation for the development of picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) in an effort to provide an organized mechanism for digital image management. The development of more sophisticated methods of digital image acquisition (Multislice CT and Digital Mammography, for example), as well as the implementation and performance of PACS and Teleradiology systems in a health care environment, have created challenges in the area of image compression with respect to storing and transmitting digital images. Image compression can be reversible (lossless) or irreversible (lossy). While in the former, there is no loss of information, the latter presents concerns since there is a loss of information. This loss of information from diagnostic medical images is of primary concern not only to radiologists, but also to patients and their physicians. In 1997, Goldberg pointed out that "there is growing evidence that lossy compression can be applied without significantly affecting the diagnostic content of images... there is growing consensus in the radiologic community that some forms of lossy compression are acceptable". The purpose of this study was to explore the opinions of expert radiologists, and related professional organizations on the use of irreversible compression in routine practice The opinions of notable radiologists in the US and Canada are varied indicating no consensus of opinion on the use of irreversible compression in primary diagnosis, however, they are generally positive on the notion of the image storage and transmission advantages. Almost all radiologists are concerned with the litigation potential of an incorrect diagnosis based on irreversible compressed images. The survey of several radiology professional and related organizations reveals that no professional practice standards exist for the use of irreversible compression. Currently, the only standard for image compression is stated in the ACR's Technical Standards for Teleradiology and Digital Image Management.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 March 2006
PDF: 22 pages
Proc. SPIE 6145, Medical Imaging 2006: PACS and Imaging Informatics, 614510 (16 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.639730
Show Author Affiliations
Euclid Seeram, British Columbia Institute of Technology (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6145:
Medical Imaging 2006: PACS and Imaging Informatics
Steven C. Horii; Osman M. Ratib, Editor(s)

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