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Digital Image processing

A digital image is one that has been converted into numeric values that make it possible for the
computer to read and generate an image. These computers use a binary language, which
usually consists of a 2 symbol alphabet. 0 and 1 to indicate if the signal is off or on. The numeric
values assigned are called bits. There are a number of operations that occur to produce a digital
image. These operations are intended to change the input pixel values to improve the quality of
the output digital image. The are 3 main processing operations they include:

Point processing- this is the most important operation when dealing with digital
radiography. This is performed between the receipt of the input image from the image
receptor and the output image that will be viewed on the displayed monitor. This
process involves changing the values of the input pixels to the output pixels. One
common operation is called gray scaling, which adjusts the image brightness and
contrast. This process involves the histogram, application of the look up table (LUT),
and windowing. A histogram is the ideal perfect image of a certain body part. To
generate a histogram, the area is scanned and divided into pixels and each pixel is
assigned a certain signal strength. This is when the image taken by the radiographer and
a histogram are basically compared and combined, which is called rescaling. After this
process a sensitivity number(DI) will be assigned to the exposure made by the
radiographer. There is a certain range that will show if the exposure made was correct.
If the number is over or under the correct range it will indicate if the image was either
over or under exposed. A wide histogram will show a higher contrast and a narrow
histogram will demonstrate a lower contrast. The next step would be to adjust the
contrast. A digital detector has a linear response. This includes it taking all of the data
retrieved from an image, if the recalling did not occur the initial image would have a
very low contrast. This is when the LUT is applied to the data which shows the standard
contrast for that certain exam. The proper LUT will provide a proper grayscale
regardless of the technique chosen. Unless the exposure was far outside of the normal
range, the system will not be able to compensate and produce a correct image. The
windowing process will change the contrast and brightness of an image, which depends
on the shades of gray assigned to each pixel. Humans can only see approx. 32 shades of
gray whereas, as many as 4096 shades can result within an image. Since there are so
many an image is assigned a certain range. The window width is the range of densities
that can be displayed. The quantity of information stored within a pixel will vary
depending on its bit depth (grayscale). However, the more a radiographer manipulates
an image the less information the radiologist will have to work with.
Local Processing- This is when mathematical calculations are applied to small groups of
pixels. This is referred to as a kernel. This is a mandatory and common process to a
computer system. Spatial frequency filtering is often considered a type of local
processing. This includes sharpening the image, smoothing, blurring, and reducing the

noise. It can occur in the spatial location domain or spatial frequency domain. There are
both high pass filtering and slow pass filtering. High pass (edge enhancement) uses an
algorithm. When this is applied it is usually done to low spatial frequency and sharpens
the edges. Low pass filtering (Smoothing) blurs the image and reduces the noise, and
displayed brightness. This process can as cause the image to lose detail which is not
Geometric Processing- This is an operation which helps orient the image correctly. It
changes the position of the pixels. This allows for magnification, rotation, and other
operations of the image.

Digital Image Qualities and Characteristics

Spatial resolution- This is controlled by the matrix sixe. The larger the matrix the smaller
the pixels which results in better resolution. This is a direct relationship. This is the
overall sharpness of an image.
FOV- this is the overall dimension of the matrix (Cassette size).
Grayscale bit depth- each pixel in a matrix represents a wide range of different shades
of gray. From white to black.
Spatial domain- there are 2 different domains, which are based on how an image is
acquired. Images in a spatial location domain are based on the matrix and where each
pixel is placed. The other is the spatial frequency domain which are based on the
number of cycles per unit or length (The wave signal), which are the sine waves created
by the signals in the data obtained. There is an indirect relationship between the size of
an object and amount of frequency and contrast. A small object has a high frequency
and high contrast.
Noise- this is anything that interferes with the making of an image. There are 2 different
kinds, quantum mottle and electronic. With an increase in noise there is a decrease in
-Quantum mottle is the underexposure of an image which results is it looking grainy
-Electronic signal noise is inherent.
Deviation index (DI)- this can also be known as a sensitivity number, which shows if an
image within range of a correct exposure.
DQE- is the measure of the percent of x-rays absorbed by the IR, and how efficient the
IR converts x-rays into a digital signal.
Pixel pitch- the distance between adjacent pixels.

This my digital pathway notebook.