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The use of a figure-of-merit (FOM) for optimization in digital mammography: an exploratory study in Malta

Borg, M; (2015) The use of a figure-of-merit (FOM) for optimization in digital mammography: an exploratory study in Malta. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This PhD thesis comprises an exploratory study in digital mammography physics that portrays two essential components. The first component (1) presents the first national survey of the technical performance of mammography equipment in Malta using the European Protocol [1-3]. This demonstrated considerable differences in the technical performance of the mammography units across the country with a wide range in performance, patient dose and image quality. A common problem was that many clinics had implemented computed radiography (CR) systems to replace existing film-screen (FS) systems without due consideration to optimization. All direct digital (DR) mammography units met current international technical performance standards and the effectiveness of DR mammography in reducing patient dose and maintaining high image quality compared to CR has been confirmed. The second component (2) was to explore the use of a figure-of-merit (FOM) for optimization and characterisation in digital mammography. The use of image quality parameters in digital mammography such as contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) or signal-difference-to-noise ratio (SDNR), signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and detective quantum efficiency (DQE) have been traditionally used for the quantitative evaluation of the system performance against international standards or guidelines. The use of FOMs is relatively new and may be considered as a new quality assurance tool in digital mammography permitting the quantitative and simultaneous assessment of image quality and patient dose. The main objective in having a FOM is to have a numerical expression representing the efficiency and efficacy of a given system gauging how good or poor a system is performing. This may be useful in optimization and in predicting a predetermined or expected image quality with a given amount of radiation dose for a given system. The most interesting aspect of the FOMs in this work will be to investigate and explore the possibility for inter-system comparison.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The use of a figure-of-merit (FOM) for optimization in digital mammography: an exploratory study in Malta
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Digital Mammography, figure-of-merit
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471482
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