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Is detector pixel size a determining parameter for perceived clinical image quality?
The outcome of a clinical observer study in cooperation with the University Hospital Leuven, Belgium
The question of detector pixel size remains part of an ongoing debate between clinicians, medical physicists and representatives of the medical X-ray device manufacturers.
This White paper summarizes the outcome of a recent observer study carried out by Agfa in cooperation with the University Hospital of Leuven, Belgium (Department of Radiology & Medical Radiation Physics). The study investigated in depth the influence of the pixel size of direct radiography (DR) X-ray detectors on the perceived clinical image quality of orthopedic and chest radiography images.
The answer will depend to some extent on the application and the imaging task. It is not surprising that the subject was studied intensively in the early days of digital mammography, where the crucial question was the pixel size required to readily resolve microcalcifications.
This debate has been largely resolved, with the consensus settling on a pixel pitch of 50 to 100 μm.
In summary, DR detectors with a pixel size ranging from 76 μm to 150 μm yield a similar perceived clinical image quality, when compared to a
reference panel with a pixel size of 124 μm.