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# Quantum mottle

## For a uniform x-ray exposure, adjacent areas of the film (measured in mm

2
)
have photon counts that randomly differ from the mean value N.
The distribution of the number of photons in each square millimeter is
described by Poisson statistics.
o For a Poisson distribution, the mean is equal to the variance (
2
), and is
generally asymmetrical for low mean values (less than 10).
In Poisson statistics, the standard deviation () is given by the square root of
the mean number of counts ( = sqrt(N))
o Sixty-eight percent of the regions contain counts within one standard
deviation of N(N sqrt(N)).
o Ninety-five percent have counts within two standard deviations of N (N
2 sqrt(N)).
o Ninety-nine percent have counts within three standard deviations of N
(N 3sqrt(N)).
o For example, for a uniform object imaged with an average of 100
photons per square millimeter [mean (N) = 100; =sqrt(N) = 10],68% of
sampled areas are in the 90 to 110 range, 95% are in the 80 to 120 range,
and 99% are in the 70 to 130 range.
This random variation of photons incident on a radiation detector is known as
quantum mottle.
o Quantum mottle depends only on the number of photons used to produce
an image.
o Doubling the radiation exposure will reduce the relative fluctuations
about the mean value (quantum mottle) by 2
1/2
, or 41 %.
A Gaussian distribution (Fig. 5.3) is a good approximation to the Poisson
distribution if the mean number of events is greater than 10.
For screen-film imaging, the typical exposure required to produce a radiograph
is 5 Gy (0.5 mR), which defines the amount of quantum mottle present.
In fluoroscopy, the amount of radiation used to generate a single frame is more
than a hundred times lower.
The amount of mottle in fluoroscopy is therefore much larger than that in
radiography, because the number of photons used to create an image is
hundreds of times lower.
Table 5.2 provides a summary of the exposures at the imaging receptor
required to produce satisfactory radiographic images.
Cine exposures at the image intensifier input are between screen/film and
fluoroscopy.
o Cine mottle in a single cardiac frame is intermediate between
For a quantum noise-limited system, there is a direct trade-off between the
patient radiation exposure, and the corresponding amount of mottle in the
resultant image.
Most radiographic imaging systems are designed to be quantum noise limited
and have minimal additional sources of noise.

quantum mottle
mottle caused by the statistical fluctuation of the number of photons absorbed by the intensifying screens
to form the light image on thefilm; faster screens produce more quantum mottle

Q:4 (a)What do you understand by the termQuantum Mottle ?
Quantum Mottle
The statistical fluctuation of the number of photons absorbed by the intensifying screens to
form the light image on the film is called quantum mottle.(OR) Regional variability in the
film darkening is called quantum mottle.

Quantum mottle decreases as x-ray exposure is increased.

Faster screen-film systems will have more quantum mottle than slower systems