The effect of a quadtree-based data-compression algorithm on the diagnostic yield in digitized radiographs was studied for 100 urograms. Each image was digitized and reviewed at nine decreasing compression ratios ranging from 90:1 to 4.2:1, followed by a review of the uncompressed digital images. Four radiologists independently reviewed the digitized images and the original radiographs and agreed on a reference standard of 201 findings. Sensitivity, measured by the number of findings noted on the compressed digital images, decreased with increasing compression ratios at and above the 11:1 level. No loss of sensitivity was noted with a compression ratio of 4.2:1. Sensitivity decreased more precipitously for calcifications than for soft-tissue masses. Only a minimal loss of sensitivity for bilateral renal function was noted, even with high compression ratios. False-positive rates were unaffected by compression. The authors conclude that quadtree compression ratios of 11:1 and higher may result in loss of sensitivity in clinically relevant findings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging