Contrast-detail analysis of image degradation due to lossy compression

L. T. Cook, M. F. Insana, M. A. McFadden, T. J. Hall, G. G. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A contrast-detail (CD) experiment was performed to study the effect of lossy compression on computed radiographic (CR) images. Digital CR images of a phantom were compressed by quantizing the full-frame discrete cosine transform and Huffman encoding the result. Since low-contrast detectability is directly linked to an important radiological task, namely, the detection of noncalcified pulmonary nodules in adult chest radiographs, the goal of the study was to quantify any loss in low-contrast detectability due to compression. Compression ratios varied significantly among compressed images, despite the use of fixed compression parameters; detectability could be specified by a single parameter of a CD curve; there was no significant reduction in detectability for an average compression ratio of 11:1; and, there was a statistically significant degradation in detectability for an average compression ratio of 125:1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-721
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • contrast-detail analysis
  • discrete cosine transform
  • image compression
  • low-contrast detectability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


Dive into the research topics of 'Contrast-detail analysis of image degradation due to lossy compression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this