Impact of hard-copy size on observer performance in digital chest radiography

Radiology. 1992 Jul;184(1):77-81. doi: 10.1148/radiology.184.1.1609106.


To determine the impact of reduced hard-copy size on diagnostic performance of digital radiography, screen-film chest radiographs were compared with isodose digital storage phosphor radiographs in the detection of simulated nodules, fine pulmonary lines, and micronodular opacities superimposed on the chests of 10 healthy volunteers. Digital radiographs were laser-printed in a full-size conventional format and in image lengths of two-thirds, one-half, and five-elevenths of the conventional format. Eighteen thousand observations by eight radiologists were analyzed by use of receiver operating characteristics. The detectability of lines and micronodular opacities decreased with declining image format size. In the detection of micronodular opacities, only the nearly full-size digital images were equivalent to conventional images. In the detection of linear opacities, reduction of image length by one-half or more reduced performance (analysis of variance, P less than .05). Only for the detection of nodules was no major difference found.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Observer Variation
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement*
  • Radiography, Thoracic*