Performance Evaluation of Image Quality Metrics for Perceptual Assessment of Low-dose Computed Tomography Images

Wonkyeong Lee, Eunbyeol Cho, Wonjin Kim, Jang Hwan Choi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective image quality metrics (IQMs) are widely developed and utilized, considering that they can lead to optimal radiation doses in computed tomography (CT) imaging. However, how well these IQMs relate to a radiologist s perception of subjective image quality, which is the gold standard for assessing diagnostic image quality, has not been fully explored. Therefore, in this study, we aim to analyze the relationship between subjective and objective quality metrics. We compared 13 full-reference and no-reference IQMs, including root mean square error, peak signal-To-noise ratio, structural similarity index (SSIM), multi-scale SSIM, information content weighted (IW)-SSIM, gradient magnitude similarity deviation, feature similarity index, noise quality metric, visual information fidelity, natural image quality evaluator, blind/referenceless image spatial quality evaluator, perception-based image quality evaluator, and the model observer nonpre-whitening with eye filter (NPWE). The data used in this study were CT images under seven noise levels. The scores obtained from these data with the objective IQMs were then compared with the three radiologists scores by using Pearson linear correlation coefficient (PLCC) and Spearman s rank order correlation coefficient (SROCC). The results show that SSIM performs best in terms of PLCC and SROCC but lacked some characteristics of the radiologists assessment. Fullreference IQMs, except for IW-SSIM, generally outperform no-reference IQMs. No-reference IQMs show poor PLCC and SROCC scores, and the model observer NPWE shows the worst performance among them. These results may contribute to evaluating and developing IQMs with the preferences of radiologists. 2022 SPIE.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2022
Subtitle of host publicationImage Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
EditorsClaudia R. Mello-Thoms, Claudia R. Mello-Thoms, Sian Taylor-Phillips
ISBN (Electronic)9781510649453
StatePublished - 2022
EventMedical Imaging 2022: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment - Virtual, Online
Duration: 21 Mar 202227 Mar 2022

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2022: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partly supported by the Technology development Program of MSS [S3146559], the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants funded by the Korean government (MSIP: Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning; No. NRF-2020R1A4A1016619, NRF-2020R1F1A1073774), and the Korea Medical Device Development Fund grant funded by the Korea government (the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Health & Welfare, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety) (Project Number: KMDF_PR_20200901_0016, 9991006689). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or manuscript preparation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 SPIE. All rights reserved.


  • image quality assessment
  • image quality metrics
  • low-dose CT image
  • objective assessment
  • subject assessment


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