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    A spatial resolution metric is presented for tomosynthesis. The Fourier spectral distortion metric (FSD) was developed to evaluate specific resolution properties of different imaging techniques for digital tomosynthesis using a star pattern image to plot modulation in the frequency domain. The FSD samples the spatial resolution of a star-pattern image tangentially over an acute angle and for a range of spatial frequencies in a 2D image or 3D image reconstruction slice. The FSD graph portrays all frequencies present in a star pattern quadrant. In addition to the fundamental input frequency of the star pattern, the FSD graph shows spectral leakage, square wave harmonics, and residual noise. The contrast transfer function (CTF) is obtained using the FSD graph. The CTF is analogous to the modulation transfer function (MTF), but it is not normalized to unity at zero spatial frequency. Unlike the MTF, this metric separates the fundamental input-frequency from the other signals in the Fourier domain. This metric helps determine optimal image reconstruction parameters, the in-plane limit of spatial resolution with respect to aliased signals, and a threshold criterion for an image to support super resolution and reduce aliasing artifacts. Various sampling parameters were evaluated to optimize this metric and ascertain measurement accuracy. The FSD adequately compares resolution properties of 2D images and 3D image reconstruction slices for various x ray imaging modes without suppressing aliased signals.


    Trevor Lewis Vent, Raymond Joseph Acciavatti, Andrew D A Maidment. Development and Evaluation of the Fourier Spectral Distortion Metric. IEEE transactions on medical imaging. 2021 Mar;40(3):1055-1064

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    PMID: 33326378

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