The purpose of this study is to compare a number of measured image quality parameters using processed and unprocessed or raw images in two full-field direct digital units and one computed radiography mammography system. This study shows that the difference between raw and processed image data is system specific. The results have shown that there are no significant differences between raw and processed data in the mean threshold contrast values using the contrast-detail mammography phantom in all the systems investigated; however, these results cannot be generalised to all available systems. Notable differences were noted in contrast-to-noise ratios and in other tests including: response function, modulation transfer function , noise equivalent quanta, normalised noise power spectra and detective quantum efficiency as specified in IEC 62220-1-2. Consequently, the authors strongly recommend the use of raw data for all image quality analyses in digital mammography.
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